What about kids?
Re “Californians are too cool to line up for weed. But Jan. 1 did bring one big change” (Editorials, Jan. 2): As someone who does not partake in marijuana but does not object to those who do, I still struggle with the implications of legalization. We are going to have a challenge running successful campaigns against teen tobacco smoking and vaping while at the same time extolling the purported virtues of legalized pot. Combating underage tobacco use while at the same time ramping up legal marijuana access for adults will be a messaging tightrope act. Minors will see adults lining up and lighting up and may have plants growing in their homes. How do you make the argument that a habit which is illegal and ill-advised at age 19 is somehow okay at age 21?
Bob Giovati, Orangevale
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The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board appears to be obsessed with cannabis. It is obvious the board was disappointed that the world did not end on the first day that cannabis was available for sale to the public. The board infers there is a dearth of science on cannabis, which is not accurate. Do humans fully understand the effects of anything on the human body and brain? Absolutely not. That would require us to fully understand how the human body and brain function. It’s time for the board to move on and obsess about something more interesting.
Mark Collen, Sacramento
I’ve had a friend of a friend for more than 35 years who was a highly skilled machinist and very ambitious. He started smoking marijuana daily for all those years and still does. His skills in the shop and his ambitious drive are virtually gone. Why haven’t you published an article about the long-term, negative effects of marijuana?
Alan Baker, Rocklin
In 1970, the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, a Schedule 1 drug, like heroin, among others. The 2018 marijuana crop is nothing like hippie weed of past years gone. This new stuff is a bridge drug that should be treated with extreme caution. The high level of potency can spike the addiction level dangerously. Hospital emergency rooms are preparing for a tsunami of victims. The risks facing our communities will not be offset by the marijuana cash register.
Michael Hamiel, Elk Grove
What’s in store
Here are a couple of predictions: The state will report that taxes from marijuana sales during the first quarter of the year exceed expectations. But the state will ignore the dramatic rise in marijuana-related crime such as robberies and burglaries, and driving under the influence. The smell of marijuana will be in the air in Old Sacramento, near the Golden 1 Center, by City Hall, and in just about every park, but cops won’t do anything. You’ll pull up to a stop light and see and smell the guys in the next car smoking weed. Unregulated marijuana grows will be in the news regularly. Marijuana consumption on school campuses across the state will increase significantly. Terms like “highly regulated” will fade from view. A report will surface in five years describing the emotional and physical issues people, especially young adults, endure due to easy access to marijuana. The proponents of the new marijuana law sold the voters on the idea that people would be smoking marijuana in their homes and that it would be regulated and that the state would benefit. Those are great ideas – if they were true.
Chris Piombo, Lodi
After spending much of my life in Humboldt County and knowing several small pot farmers, it is hard to feel sorry for them. Many of these “back-to-the-land homesteaders” work a couple hours per day for six months per year while raking in large sums of tax-free money and doing drugs. Many spend the other six months of the year traveling and hanging out at the beach. Many of the rural pot-growing properties have had illegal grading and substandard roads which choke streams with sediment making them unusable for salmon spawning. Many creeks are illegally diverted and de-watered for fish and wildlife. Many poach deer and spread rat poison around the plantations which kills other wildlife. Marijuana needs to be grown like tobacco is in other parts of the country where it can be regulated. It is time for the small pot farmers to get real jobs.
Michael Stapleton, Etna
Re “All the ways 2017 made America ‘great’ again” (California Forum, Sasha Abramsky, Dec. 31): More columns by Sasha Abramsky will keep our New Year’s bright. Abramsky aptly identifies the woes of 2017 from a social justice lens. I am grateful he stirs our moral conscience and motivates us to work for change. Let’s hope in 2018 that the long arc of history will bend toward justice.
Gail Marie Erlandson, Sacramento
I really must take issue with Sasha Abramsky. His comments are dishonest or disingenuous. He says President Donald Trump called Nazis and Klansmen “very fine people.” This is a lie. Trump was speaking about people who were against the unauthorized dismantling of confederate statues. Abramsky’s second statement is that Trump urged violence against the media. I’m sure Mr. Abramsky would argue that by Trump denouncing the media, he is encouraging violence, but you know what? The media’s attacks on Trump and his supporters are unprecedented. It works both ways. Abramsky writes that Trump is “hunting” illegal immigrants. This is hyperbole. Trump is trying to enforce existing immigration law, and is not deporting the dreamers. He has given them a six-month stay. And to Abramsky’s hate mail? Nobody should have to deal with this. Perhaps it would abate somewhat if you were to try to quit writing hit pieces.
Paul McGrath, Cameron Park
Re “Here’s how California’s House Republicans think they can survive in 2018” (California Forum, Dan Morain, Dec. 31): The gas tax increase imposed by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats unfairly penalizes the poor and middle classes and diesel drivers, and raises costs for everyone. The increase creates a piggy bank for the state to ravage. Morain is beating the drum for the Democratic Party. So much for independence in journalism.
M.A. Figueroa, Sacramento