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Saturday, April 6, 2013: Prohibition, teachers and rejecting vetoes

Prohibition doesn’t work

This letter is in response to a March 29 column called Marijuana legalization: An easy way out, by Dr. Robert Q. Dana at the University of Maine. Dana apparently assumes drug prohibition keeps people from using drugs.

Drug prohibition does not keep people from using drugs. If anything, it facilitates drug use by turning distribution and sale over to drug dealers who will sell anything to anybody.

For at least the past 30 years, teens have reported that it is easier for them to get marijuana than alcohol. To buy alcohol you need to be of legal age and prove it. To buy marijuana all you need is money. We need legal regulated sale so we, not drug dealers, are in charge of distribution and sale.

Drugs are not going away. In the past 40 years we’ve spent more than $1 trillion, arrested millions of people, shredded the Constitution and seen unprecedented violence on our streets. The result has been drugs that are stronger, cheaper and more readily available than ever.

Drugs will be sold in Maine. Do we want them sold through an uncontrolled black market run by violence or through licensed and regulated dealers? It’s our choice.

Legal regulated sale does not encourage people to use drugs. The experience of the Netherlands and Portugal shows that drug use goes down when there is a legal regulated market.

The organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition,, made up of current and former law enforcement personnel, agrees. Go to its website, watch its videos, then make your judgment as to the best approach to drugs.

Steve Wellcome



Unjust layoffs

Upon reading the newspaper recently, I was appalled to read that 24 or more teachers and staff would be laid off from Brewer High School at the end of this semester. What’s wrong with this state?

By all means, let’s pay the so-called “nonprofit” hospitals back. I am sure they are due for a well-overdue “bonus.”

Why don’t we poll the people with insurance who can’t afford to pay their hospital bill? The governor wants to pay back a “nonprofit” institution, yet he will let children in this state be taught by teachers who should retire, but won’t.

He also wants to give that community’s budget to “charter schools” and let the rest of Maine students suffer. If parents want to send their children to “charter schools,” let them pay the tuition.

These teachers give up high-paying jobs to try and teach our children what they need to know to go onto higher education. I certainly would not want to sit in a classroom with 20 students, seven hours a day and try to get them to learn something.

These teachers provide most of their own supplies for the classroom. What are these teachers going to do when they get their “pink slip” on May 1?

These children are the future; they deserve all the resources the state can provide, not paying back “nonprofit” hospitals. At the end of the day, there is no pat on the back for a “good job done.”

Stick up for our teachers. Do something now.

Sandra Constantine McGrath



Political housekeeping

As the Penobscot County Register of Deeds, I am compelled to submit my comments regarding Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of LD 49.

Maine statutes currently require payment of recording fees at the time the document is submitted for recording in the Registry of Deeds.

The IRS is now paying by direct deposit to our bank account. With the introduction of electronic filing, the e-file companies submit payment at the end of the day.

LD 49 is a bipartisan housekeeping bill that would have brought the law in compliance with current practice. There is no fiscal note; it does not cost the taxpayer more money, and it does not change the payment procedure for the state, which has had 10 days to pay for more than 25 years.

I am at a loss to understand the governor’s reasoning on vetoing this bill. I offered to explain any parts of registry of deeds procedures that were not familiar. His accusations directed at county government are totally unfounded.

The Maine Registers of Deeds Association is not a political organization. We perform our duties according to Maine law, and when new technology advances, it is our responsibility to make sure that our real estate laws reflect those changes.

My thanks to those legislators who voted to override the veto based on the merits of the legislation rather than the politics of the moment. The Maine Registers of Deeds, having been caught up in the net of political bickering, still need a housekeeping bill passed.

Susan Bulay,

Register of Deeds,

Penobscot County

Old Town

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