Dec. 16 Letters to the Editor

Posted Dec. 15, 2009, at 5:54 p.m.

Marijuana a safe drug

On the front page of the Dec. 9 edition of the BDN, in the story, “Protocols for Pot,” Attorney General Janet Mills is quoted as saying in regards to the dispensing of prescription marijuana, “There is a different kind of balancing act that is going on in this arena than with other prescription drugs.”

Certainly the attorney general is familiar with the prescription drugs OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin and methadone, all legal drugs with the propensity to kill and destroy lives on a scale in orders of magnitude higher than marijuana. In fact marijuana is a far safer drug than alcohol.

For way too long, residents have needlessly suffered with pain and other medical conditions that can be effectively treated with marijuana. Given the long opposition to medical access to what for some is a wonder drug — solely for the purpose of political expediency — the attorney general should be vigilant

Peter P. Misluk Jr.

Searsmont

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State health care crisis

As a family doctor in Stonington, I see patients experience the health care crisis every day. Should we test a young girl’s leg swelling for a blood clot at the risk of bankrupting her family, who lack health insurance? How do I get the hardworking lobsterman with no insurance treatment for his cancer without putting his boat and livelihood in the balance?

What’s especially frustrating and heartrending about these and many other examples is that, having practiced in both Australia and New Zealand, I’ve seen firsthand how effectively other industrialized countries handle health coverage for their citizens. While no system is perfect and it’s true we must find a uniquely American solution to our health care problems, I’m sure we can at least agree that our friends and neighbors should not be denied needed medical attention because they can’t afford it.

All the dire warnings in the current debate about a “government takeover of health care” sound a little strange to a country doctor like me, 70 percent of whose patients are already insured through Medicare or Medicaid (MaineCare). Since I find these government programs much easier to deal with than private insurance companies, I believe we have nothing to fear and much to gain from giving people a choice of a public health insurance plan in any reformed system.

I urge our two U.S. senators to wrap up their bipartisan participation in the health care reform process so far by voting for the final bill.

Charles Zelnick, M.D.

Stonington

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Holiday greetings

I don’t understand why some people are having problems with the words: “Happy Holidays.”

As the period between mid-December and mid-January is meaningful to individuals or segments of the population for different reasons, it is a sensitive and respectful gesture to encompass all in a public forum with a greeting of “Happy holidays.”

If you want to say “Merry Christmas” by all means do so. No one is stopping you. I’ll do it right now: “Merry Christmas” and let us not forget, peace on Earth, good will to all.

Patricia Pellegrini

Milbridge

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Protect gift of life

As a person of faith I find it disheartening to hear politicians in Washington D.C. describe themselves as “pro-life” while continuing to do everything they can to derail the effort to reform our health insurance system.

According to a recent Harvard study, nearly 45,000 people a year die because they lack health insurance. Certainly, these “pro-life” policymakers must realize that people who die because they don’t have health insurance are just as dead as those who might be the victims of abortion.

The bottom line is this: Life is a gift of God, and we have an obligation to preserve and protect that gift at all times, not just when it is politically

Francine Wickes

Bangor

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Longtime fisherman

As a third generation fisherman in Washington County, I am writing in regards to a meeting that was held Thursday, Dec. 10 in Eastport. This meeting was to discuss ideas for area management for urchins and scallops in Cobscook Bay. This meeting was requested by the Department of Marine Resources.

DMR feels that by having certain hours and days of operation that this will help in preserving the industry. If they really want to preserve the industry, they need to look at zoning the scallop industry. This has been a request for years now by the local fishermen that has fallen on deaf ears.

DMR is allowing everybody south of Cobscook Bay to drag in the waters. By allowing fishermen from other counties to fish the area they are raping the industry, not preserving it. That is why they are up in our area because they have overfished theirs. How would DMR like it if they planted a garden, watered it all summer and then I came along and harvested their crop? Well the same goes for us fishermen in Washington County.

Wake up down in Augusta and take a good look at the people that you appoint to these positions. The majority of them have never even dropped a drag or hauled a trap. Having a degree in marine biology does not make you an expert.

Basil Pottle

Eastport

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New sales taxes

Christopher St. John wrote regarding LD 1495, the Democratic enacted legislation that will place new sales taxes on Maine’s working people, in a Nov. 26 letter.

Mr. St. John, an activist for Maine’s welfare programs, reminds us that he agrees with the Democrats and supports expanding sales taxes on services, labor charges on auto repairs etc., etc. He would have us believe that this new law, LD 1495, is an attempt by the Democrats to somehow lower taxes for Maine’s working people. Something like Barack Obama’s suggestion that we can give 30 million uninsured Americans health insurance without our taxes going up.

The Maine Democratic Party has held a majority in our state Legislature for more than 35 years. It is difficult to believe them on the subject of taxes especially when they are suggesting that they want to lower them. The proof is in the pudding.

Simply because Mr. St John, the Democrats, and the BDN, tell us that LD 1495 is an attempt to lower our taxes, doesn’t make it so.

LD 1495 is one small step toward taxing every service provided here in Maine, including haircuts, plumbing, and electrical work.

Mr. St John and the Democrats want more tax revenues, period.

Cynthia Izon

Harmony

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http://bangordailynews.com/2009/12/15/opinion/dec-16-letters-to-the-editor-2/ printed on December 21, 2014