Letters | Weed whackers



Weed whackers

(Re: “See no weed,” cover story, April 14.) Thank you for your article. It was good. However, on the same day your article came out the Department of Justice reaffirmed that it will not respect state laws in their war on cannabis (http://bit.ly/weedwar). It has not happened here yet because the DEA is waiting until July 1, when the unconstitutional Department of Revenue rules go into effect. Specifically from the rules, “Surveillance recordings and clear still photos must be made available to the MMED and law enforcement upon an administrative or law enforcement request demonstrating that the information sought is relevant and material to a legitimate regulatory or law enforcement inquiry.”

And in light of the Haag memo, which states, “The DEA will enforce the Controlled Substance Act vigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law. The Department’s investigative and prosecutorial resources will continue to be directed toward these objectives.”

So all they will have to do is wait and then request the videos as the DEA sees fit. That is why they have not started prosecutions in Colorado because that would require a lot more resources then just having dispensaries video tape their federal crimes and be required to turn them over to the DEA. A great majority of the DEA’s funding is to combat cannabis and angry government officials with auto matic weapons will not just roll over and let liberal cannabis laws affect their budgets.

Corey Donahue/Boulder

When Mike Turner, a Colorado spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Agency, says, “We’re going after the biggest and the baddest,” we can only assume he means people violating the original reasons given for outlawing marijuana:

• “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.” (Hearst newspapers nationwide, 1934)

• “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana can cause white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” (Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger)

• “…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.” (Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger, 1930)

• “Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death.” (Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger, 1937)

• “Marijuana is the most violence causing drug in the history of mankind.” (Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger)

• “[Smoking] one [marihuana] cigarette might develop a homicidal mania, probably to kill his brother.” (See U.S. Government Propaganda To Outlaw Marijuana, www.druglibrary. org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/t3.htm.)

The fear of brothers murdering each other after a toke is something to reckon with, but I cannot find a single case of a marijuana-induced homicide of any kind. Agent Turner should clarify the reasons for keeping cannabis illegal. Who is the DEA going after and why?

Ralph Given/Daly City, Calif.

Reasons not to arm Libyan rebels

(Re: “Eight reasons to arm Libya’s rebels,” Danish Plan, April 7.) As a non-magical thinker, I say the “lord” has nothing to do with any conflict, aside from being used as a reason. Humans are endowed with certain inalienable rights, such as the right to pursue happiness and depose deranged tyrants not because of some good god, but because of centuries of struggle specifically against tyrants that have resulted in the liberal democratic ideals we enjoy today. We cannot arm the Libyans because, “They are doing the lord’s work.”

If they are fighting to take down Gaddafi, let’s take down Gaddafi, not innocent civilians. We armed the anti- Soviet resistance in Afghanistan, and that helped lead to our current problems in the Middle East. Remember Osama bin Laden? Arming these rebels is no guarantee of immediate success or long-term stability, or even an insurance that the next leadership will be friendly to the West.

The Egyptians and Algerians recently overthrew their tyrannical, dictatorial, no-term-limit regimes, and I don’t recall the U.S. arming the rebels, and I believe they won. Why does arming these rebels assure a different outcome?

If the rebels lose, will the U.S. and NATO really lose? I doubt that. Gaddafi will continue to sell oil to the Europeans. Our addiction to oil will not be impacted. The Arab world won’t disappear.

The analogy that Obama loses if the rebels lose is not accurate. We have rewarded many weak or failing presidencies in the recent past. Reagan, Clinton and Bush II all had failed policies and won second terms. The Obama administration’s job one should be about rebuilding the middle class in the U.S., creating new and strengthening existing financial regulations, solving the health care crisis, investing in education and clean energy. There are many issues facing the U.S. more important than arming the Libyan rebels.

Unless the arms industry is prepared to do the patriotic thing and supply weapons free of charge, why should the average taxpayer be on the hook for another military venture? The only winners in arming the rebels are the arms manufacturers.

Imagine if we were to give the economic aid and training to Mexico’s poorest at the level we fight wars and arm rebels half a world away. Here is a country that still admires the U.S., and we are turning our back on them, building fences, treating them as undocumented aliens. That is at least one of the conflicts close to home we could have success with. Supplying arms and fighting wars of aggression has not proven successful in the past. I suppose one could say that the French helped us in our hour of need not out of some “let’s help the rebels” ideology, but rather saw an ally in their dispute with Great Britain. Our arming and training the rebels is because we don’t want an interruption in our oil supply. Remember the acronym OIL — Operation Iraqi Liberation? Our leaders should not be swayed by the rhetoric of arming and training rebels because we are trying to prevent some future event.

I do not think using fear to convince the public of the dire consequences that might result if we don’t arm Libyan rebels is the correct stance to take and is tiring and disingenuous. The Republican Party has been using this fear tactic for a long time. Hopefully we can mature past that and use common sense and facts as our rationale in convincing the U.S. public how our limited resources should be used.

Steve Holley/Longmont

Rainwater? Yes, we can

I was excited to learn that Boulder Weekly wrote a blurb on rainwater harvesting in the Boulderganic section (“Harvest the rain: Know what’s legal,” April 7), but when I got a hold of a copy and read the article I was deeply disappointed. As the subtitle (“Know what’s legal”) suggests, I was expecting to read about what Colorado residents can do to benefit from the rain.

Instead, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph only served to reinforce what we cannot do to harvest the rain. After this latest rainstorm (April 13-14), it is sad to think that Colorado residents once again feel like they have to usher away their roof runoff as quickly as possible, when I know better and have been actively promoting the alternative. In fact, 90 percent of all rainwater harvesting strategies are perfectly legal in the state of Colorado and always have been. We have a water-illiterate culture in this dry-land state, and what we need now more than ever are solutions that help to rehydrate our landscapes, not be told over and over that we cannot use rainfall runoff.

For me, this issue is the real “Yes, we can!” but it seems too few people understand the issue of Colorado water law as it pertains to harvesting rainwater. I invite you to write a positive article clearly stating what can be done to use our precious rainfall in Colorado. I am happy to be a water-harvesting authority and resource for the future article.

I think we can do better to inform and enlighten the public, instead of reiterate the status quo understanding!

Jason Gerhardt/via Internet

Recycling is overrated

This Earth Day, Boulder should reconsider its infatuation with recycling and bring it back into perspective. Recycling is not the holy grail; actually it should come last! Remember “Reduce, re-use, recycle”? First, reduce what you use. Then, if you need to use it, try to re-use it. Only failing those two should it come down to recycling.

Boulder is known for its environmental awareness … but also for its conspicuous consumption. Recycling has come to be an excuse for excess consumption — it’s OK to use a plastic cup just once if it can be recycled?!? But it took energy to produce the material, make the cup and eventually handle the recycling. All of that energy, plus materials consumed in the processing, are wasted.

It is especially wrong-headed to measure waste reduction in percentage of materials diverted from landfills. That can actually reward (recyclable) waste. Consider this: I could switch from beer in a reusable keg to bottled beer and improve my waste score, even though a gallon of bottled beer uses about five pounds of glass. Glass is environmentally expensive — to manufacture, transport and recycle. But because it can be recycled, it shows up as credit instead of debit on the waste-reduction balance sheet. Incredible.

Dick Dunn/Longmont

Memo to birthers

To all Birthers (idiots):

1. Visit hawaii.gov.

2. Search for “Obama birth certificate.”

3. Click the top hit, “Statement by Dr. Chiyome Fukino — hawaii.gov”

4. Shut up!

J. Andrew Smith/Bloomfield, N.J.

I had said up until a few days of the last presidential election that I was convinced (still am) that there was a certain kind of “European American,” for the sake of conversation, that would rather slit their wrists than to see a black man, an American African, as leader of this country.

I’m exaggerating, of course, but to those who subscribe to any of the various “pure blood” theories around the world, probably not by much.

And it is precisely these people, this kind of thinking, and from this absurd, racist, ignorance, that spawned the “birther” movement, in my opinion.

It is absolutely impossible for them to accept that the last election even happened. Shock! Still, this cannot be, so let us attack from this angle. Well, I’m afraid that they’re just going to have to get over it, and even the phony Donald Trump cannot bring any credibility whatsoever to this non-issue, non-debate.

Pathetic. Grant D. Cyrus/Boulder

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