LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Better cannabis supply needed
As a wheelchair-bound, arthritic Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholder who has absolutely no chance of ever "growing my own," I find the current state laws extremely frustrating.
The program has its good points, but the supply of marijuana for thousands of OMMP patients has been sadly lacking since the program's inception.
This shortage prevents patients from properly utilizing cannabis' preventive and healing qualities in addressing the major medical problems we patients face in order to get an OMMP card in the first place!
Most frustrating for me is I have the legal right to possess 18 ounces of marijuana, but no legal means to purchase any. My gnarled hands are further tied since it is illegal for other cardholder growers to sell to me, their fellow cardholder, any excess.
This supply issue is continually getting worse. Statewide, nearly 3,000 doctors have written marijuana recommendations with approximately 24,000 patients currently enrolled.
Voter Power, an Oregon based medical marijuana advocacy group, has written an innovative way to solve this problem. Initiative 28 creates a revenue-generating, regulated medical marijuana supply system of nonprofit operated dispensaries. The bill also provides the state with an estimated $75 million in revenue in the first five years to conduct scientific research on cannabis and other DHS programs, like the Oregon Health Plan.
Wasn't safe access to medical marijuana the voters' intention in 1998? This initiative will fulfill that intention.
Wrong attitude toward theft
I recently moved to Eugene and one recent weekend visited the coast. After a wonderful stay in Yachats, I stopped at Beachside State Park for 15 minutes. During that time I had my window smashed and all my personal effects stolen. Most disheartening was the reaction of law enforcement stating that this is such a common occurrence that they do not allocate support to deal with it.
Upon speaking with area residents I find my situation to be common. I hear that theft is not a matter of if, but when, so try to minimize the damage. Coming from a state that does not tolerate such criminal behaviors, I wonder why the citizens of Oregon are so willing to accept random theft as their responsibility and not that of law enforcement.
I can understand why Oregon's criminals are so brazen, with little consequence for their crimes. If Oregon law enforcement is aware of who, what, why and where, as they state, then why are they not trying to apprehend criminals instead turning a blind eye? If funding is the issue, I would rather pay an increased park fee or taxes to have security instead of suffering identity theft.
It was insinuated that I encouraged victimization by leaving my valuables in my vehicle. I find this notion absurd and demeaning to the citizens of this state. I encourage all to write to their local and state elected officials demanding a solution.
Don't trade safety for slavery
An examination of past events might show a relationship between government overreach and the call to ban guns. It seems that whenever politicians and their sycophants become nervous about their performance, they move to ban the guns that could be turned on them. Consequently, they send out their operatives with their guns to encourage the collection of our guns.
Our constitution demands that when government fails, citizens are obliged to change it - by force if necessary. See the first words in the Declaration of Independence. We did this in 1776 when we took up arms against England. Since then force has not been necessary because government and powerful people know we are armed.
The Second Amendment provides for our self-protection. If the government overreaches then, when all else fails, we have every right to bring them to justice by force if necessary. The constitution and our willingness to defend it is the only thing that stands between us and slavery.
Sadly, almost half of our citizens have decided to trade safety for slavery, to accept the socialist, nanny state. They have meekly given up their God-given rights in exchange for bread and circuses.
Politicians, who should be our servants, have become our masters. They should be admired for their efforts on our behalf. Instead they are despised and feared for the harm they bring us. See state and federal approval ratings.
Anyone with half a brain knows there is evil in the world that can not be appeased. Armed, we are citizens. Disarmed, we are slaves.
Are superintendents needed?
On Feb. 19, Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced that he would cut his salary of $93,600 by 5 percent with the money to go to the Common School Fund. I wonder if Kulongoski realizes that the Siuslaw School Board recently hired a superintendent for $98,500.
The school district is comprised of three small schools on adjacent property with fewer than 1,400 students. Presumably, each school has a competent principal. The board is in the process of drastically cutting music and other educational programs. It is also asking voters to approve a tax increase, citing the loss of programs but not explaining the need for a superintendent making more than the governor, or indeed the need for a superintendent at all.
The Register-Guard has reported other local districts making similar hires, often at even higher salaries. Perhaps the governor wishes he could trade places with some of these superintendents. He would only have to worry about one local community and manage a small number of enterprises. He could have many fewer worries and could make a considerably higher salary.
Citizens who believe in education and truly want good schools producing well-educated students need to examine more closely why local districts are in bad financial shape. Boards mostly focus on the need for more money and do not question their mismanagement of existing funds. We wind up with poorer quality schools and greater tax burdens on citizens.
JOE F. DECKER
Criminality flowed from policy
In its lead editorial on April 23, The Wall Street Journal condemned the President's "invitation" to the Justice Department to investigate members of the previous administration as "criminalizing policy differences."
That difference is between those who believe that the United States, as a matter of policy, ought to respect and comply with international law and the laws of war in particular and those who favor a policy of disregarding those rules as they see fit, behaving as a rogue nation, with all that entails for U.S. standing and influence in the world.
The criminality, if any, was a product of the chosen policy. No one is criminalizing either a policy difference or a policy. The question is whether what was done in pursuit of that policy was criminal. The acts which may have been criminal, including supervising or ordering the commission of war crimes, were not "policy differences." They were, if proved, criminal acts.
The editorial goes on to accuse the Obama administration of blurring the distinction between the political process and the legal system, just as tin-pot dictators do when, inevitably, they prosecute their predecessors. I don't recall the Journal's raising that objection when the Department of Justice under Attorney-General Gonzales fired half a dozen federal prosecutors for refusing to blur that distinction.
The Wall Street Journal's editorial page lives in the same alternate world as Dick Cheney and Fox "News."
Intolerance hurts contestant
Perez Hilton asked a Miss USA contestant if she wanted gay marriage to spread to other states. She said she believed marriage is a between a man and woman. Miss California might have won if not for her frank response.
Perez gave her a zero because of his prejudice and intolerance. He asked a question he didn't want to hear the answer to, punished her for it then called her an expletive on his blog.
The Miss California pageant distanced itself from her, but why not from him? Many others have come out against her - all demanding their version of tolerance yet not extending the true meaning of it. She at least was polite.
Our president said: "I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs, say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."
Ironic: he can speak the same views and represent the United States but she cannot. Tolerance is for all or not at all. It's not a one-way street. Love does not demand its own way. Neither does tolerance. Tolerance doesn't retaliate.
Are limits on feral cats needed?
The article on feral cats (Register-Guard, April 11) failed to mention the problems these cats cause when kept by the many well-meaning caretakers living within city limits on less than half-acre lots. Feral cats not only foul gardens and flower beds, they carry and spread diseases that are fatal to domestic cats, so, when a city dweller-caretaker houses feral cats and allows them to wander in the neighborhood, they are exposing their neighbors' cats to harm.
My grandchildren like to garden - could they get sick from contact with feral cat poop? Is there a city ordinance requiring that these caretakers cage their feral cats and/or not allow them out to roam? Is there a limit to the number of feral cats a citizen can house? The article mentions that D.Q. Johnson has 22 feral cats roaming on his 10-acre property - should there be an enforced limit to the number of feral cats a city dweller can shelter?
CHARLES F. THIELMAN