Letters to the Editor

Public health and pot, McClintock and environment, Scalia and Constitution, men and prostate cancer

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, chairs the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands.
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, chairs the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands. Abaca Press

Pot health claims exaggerated

Re “Pot initiatives fail to give public health proper priority” (Forum, Another View, Feb. 21): Rachel Barry and Stanton Glantz’s suggestion to reject proposed citizens initiatives based on their personal health findings is flawed and frightening. Marijuana should not be treated similar to tobacco, which kills more than 1,000 Americans daily and causes cancer. It should be treated similar to alcohol and be socially acceptable for responsible adults to use.

The implication that cannabis causes cancer, even though there isn’t one single case of cancer recorded, ignores the facts. Rather cannabis has proven safe, and it’s less addictive than coffee.

Further, legalizing the plant does not suddenly create an “unrestrained marijuana market.” The black market has been unrestrained and thriving for decades. The only difference is, once legalized, citizens force government to regulate the plant rather than forcing the black market to regulate it.

Stan White, Dillon, Colo.

Prioritize health over pot profit

To make a profit, a recreational marijuana industry will need to preserve the product and prolong its shelf life by adding chemicals that will include fungicides and pesticides.

Vada Russell, Sacramento

McClintock carries on GOP tradition

Re “McClintock takes gavel, while Yosemite quakes” (Forum, Feb. 21): One of the unanimous agreements signed during the Paris summit on the environment was a pledge to minimize, or eliminate wherever possible, the cutting of forests. Trees are the Earth’s lungs: They absorb carbon dioxide and monoxide, and expel oxygen. McClintock missed school the day they taught this in biology class.

As the article suggests, his motto concerning national forests is “Cut, baby, cut!” McClintock has always been in the pocket of industries that rape the land: lumber, coal, oil, industrial farming. In spite of science and facts, McClintock continues to deny that climate change exists and, as the article shows, does not mind lying to serve his masters.

McClintock chairs the subcommittee that oversees federal lands. This is typically Republican: appoint as chairmen people who aim to destroy the activities they oversee. McClintock carries the GOP tradition of destroying public lands for the benefit of his donors.

John Garon, Placerville

Ho, hum; another McClintock attack

One has to love The Sacramento Bee’s one side fits all policy. Environmental writer Matt Weiser quotes the always fair and objective environmental activist/extremist John Buckley calling Rep. Tom McClintock a liar because they disagree about forest management and what amenities should be available in Yosemite.

The Bee’s contempt for McClintock has been obvious. We get that. Funny how he keeps getting elected.

James W. Rushford,


Have a serious discussion, please

Problems facing national forests and rural communities cannot be so easily solved, nor as easily condemned as Matt Weiser, John Buckley and Bob Johnston indicate in the article regarding Rep. Tom McClintock. From tree mortality to the decrease of revenue in rural counties hindering the ability of school districts to educate children – these problems need real collaborative solutions carried out with integrity and understanding of the best available science.

Finding resolutions involves people meeting with best intentions to pursue answers to these serious issues. The article by Weiser hurts these ongoing efforts and serves no real purpose, except one born of animosity. Many people who are currently working to find the best collaborative solutions agree that hyperbole, condemnation, accusation and vitriol have no place. Too bad The Sacramento Bee chose to publish an unfortunate and juvenile article that harms ongoing efforts and promotes political partisanship.

Amy Granat, Clarksburg

Bringing light to prostate cancer

Re “It’s too late to prevent cancer in his family” (Forum, Feb. 21): We fellow travelers owe prostate cancer victim Gerald Haslam our eternal gratitude for bringing that affliction out of the shadows through the story of his own difficult journey.

Many can now take comfort in knowing that we needn’t suffer in silence or remain relegated to the low end of the cancer victim hierarchy, as we endure the travails of this all-too-common disease.

Spencer P. Le Gate,


Be aware of prostate cancer

As a prostate cancer survivor, I share Gerald Haslam’s advice when he states, “early detection is the key to survival.” All men should be aware that prostate cancer is a deadly disease that kills an American man every 20 minutes.

American Cancer Society’s data indicates that the 5-year survival rate is 100 percent when prostate cancer is detected and treated in its early stage. Unfortunately, when prostate cancer is detected late and it has spread throughout a man’s body, the 5-year survival rate drops to 28 percent.

The California Prostate Cancer Coalition recommends that every man have a baseline PSA test at age 40. For men in a high-risk group, such as the Haslam family, and African Americans, they should have their baseline PSA test at age 35. The PSA test is a simple blood test, which can be conducted in the family doctor’s office.

William Doss, Rocklin

Scalia had a negative impact

Re “Scalia’s impact felt far beyond his written opinions” (Forum, Feb. 21): Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was a champion of the “originalist” or “original intent” interpretation of the Constitution, in reference to the intent of the Founding Fathers. The “original intent” of the authors was that women not have a vote, that it was OK for white people to own black people as property. Things evolve; consciousness and knowledge increase as time passes. Those are good things.

Therefore, the U.S. should not be constrained when creating and administering its laws by the limited knowledge and poor moral standards of the era in which the Constitution was written. Were the Founding Fathers alive today and writing a constitution, their “original intent” would be vastly different than it was in the late 18th century. Some of them might even be Founding Mothers or black people. Most people would think that a good thing.

Richard Vidan, Orangevale

Jefferson provides some context

We cannot discern the “intent” of the Founding Fathers by simply reading groups of words, e.g. “well regulated militia” and “progress of science and useful arts,” absent the reading of published thoughts of the Founders contemporaneously.

An example will suffice. In a letter to James Madison in 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “No society can make a perpetual constitution or even perpetual law. The earth belongs to the living generation; they may manage it, then, and what proceeds from it, as they please, during their usufruct.”

Gary S. Gilbert, Fair Oaks

Water law vs. flood risk

Re “The year drought turned to deluge” (Editorials, Feb. 21): California has a partly broken system for water management for the American River watershed. The editorial described management of flood risks by dumping about three-quarters of the American River’s flow downstream, past Folsom Dam. Another article described a new law requiring $500 penalties for watering lawns soon after rain.

Here in El Dorado County, most of us are required to reduce our consumption of American River water by 28 percent. Can’t upstream consumers of American River water and flood protection both benefit by allowing more consumptive use of this water, instead of less, at this time of year?

Paul Raveling,

El Dorado Hills

Millennials should vote for policies

Re “It’s OK to support Clinton because she’s a woman” (Forum, Feb. 21): Writer Rebecca LaVally, like Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem, depicts contempt toward millennials as expected by now from the Clinton campaign. As LaVally writes, “Today many millennials no doubt believe the fight is won and done.”

As a young progressive, I am alarmed that age discrimination is casually tossed out to readers. If LaVally researched the views of millennials, she would find that we care deeply about gender equality. In a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, three-quarters of millennial women believed gender inequality exists in the workplace, on par with baby boomers and more than Generation X.

I read LaVally’s piece as an assault on my generation and, personally, me. Essentially, LaVally is shaming us into ignoring policy proposals, and I hope fellow millennials vote for their policy preferences.

Benjamin Brumer, Woodland

These women aren’t for Clinton

Re “Clinton and women voters” (Forum, Drawing Board, Feb. 14): News flash to Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright: None of the women in my family will be in hell, but we are definitely not voting for Hillary Clinton. We are weary of them claiming they speak for all women. We are women, proud of it and value all women and their rights, especially those in the womb who cannot speak for themselves.

Glenda R. Smith,



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