Sept. 18, Letters to the Editor

Posted Sept. 17, 2009, at 8:22 p.m.

Beware marijuana vote

I implore people to take a closer look at the coming bill on medical marijuana legalization. Take a look at California, where doctors are passing out prescriptions for aches and pains that marijuana has no effect on.

Whether the “pro pot” people want to admit it or not, marijuana has no absolute documented medicinal use other than perhaps assisting with appetite for those undergoing chemo who suffer from nausea.

The fact is that more teens are undergoing treatment for marijuana addiction than any other drug. Another fact is that those who abruptly stop using marijuana do suffer from withdrawal, perhaps not as severe or long-lasting as many other drugs, but symptoms absolutely do exist. Ask a daily smoker who can’t find any for a few days. Better yet, ask his wife.

This drug has destroyed the lives of many more people than our society chooses to acknowledge. I often suggest that everyone knows at least that one person whose life has never been what it could have been.

Those attempting to legalize this drug do know these things but they want what they want. I’m writing from personal experience. There is an entire underground of daily users in our society that has existed for decades. Are we going to continue to ignore this or deal with it?

Gregory Bouchard

Bangor

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Fostering ignorance

I am delighted with the school systems that rescinded their “do not listen” orders concerning the presidential address to the nation’s schoolchildren. I am saddened, however, that they had such contempt for his speech before it was even delivered that they originally banned it from their classrooms.

Herbert Spencer once wrote, “There is a principle which cannot fail to keep a person in everlasting ignorance, and that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” These schools may think they are promoting good education, but it seems they are really fostering ignorance.

Brian Callahan

Searsport

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Wide loads and obesity

The new law that requires motorists to give three feet of clearance for runners and walkers (An Act to Improve the Health of Maine Citizens and Safety of Pedestrians) is a wonderful step to increase physical activity in Maine.

As a resident of rural Maine and an active runner and walker, I hit the rural roads in Dixmont and Newburgh several times a week. I usually exercise with my two dogs and the baby in the stroller, so we are quite a wide load. We always move to the shoulder wherever possible, but the shoulders are narrow and sometimes too uneven for the stroller.

Although the scenery is beautiful, it can often be dangerous as motorists speed by without giving much space. More often than not, motorists slow down, give us space and a friendly wave, but those who do not incite my frustration and are part of the reason that people in rural Maine do not exercise and why obesity is such a problem in Maine.

Until the economy in rural Maine can support a built environment with sidewalks and trails, this measure will help to make people feel safe and hopefully to exercise more. I want to thank all motorists who comply with this law; you can help make the roads a more inviting place for pedestrians.

Willow McVeigh

Dixmont

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Public plan won’t work

What has more than a thousand pages, more loopholes than tatted lace and more pork than an Iowa hog farm? President Obama’s health care bill, that’s what.

Nobody has a complete picture of what this latest boondoggle entails because we have been spoon-fed only bits and pieces. Basically, what Obama is proposing is a government-controlled health care program.

We should know, from bitter experience, that our government is not only notoriously profligate with our money, but is also extremely inefficient at controlling any kind of program. Medicare has not worked, the cost to the taxpayers is astronomical and it has been, from its inception, operating in the red. Efforts to remedy this have been only a Band-Aid stuck on a breached levee.

The cost of medical insurance could be cut dramatically if government did not dictate what procedures should be covered. Unless there is true tort reform, people will sue doctors and the courts will continue to award exorbitant amounts for things for which the medical profession is not responsible.

You never miss the water till the well runs dry and I suspect, with Obama and our Congress on its current spending spree, we will reach that point in the not very distant future. A good beginning would be to look into medical facilities that already have cost-effective plans in place. We should throw out all previous plans and start from square one to create a cost-effective, sensible and workable health care plan — one that benefits everyone.

Rita Souther

Camden

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Not so catholic

Linda L. Nelson’s Sept. 12-13 BDN OpEd column, “Standing up to church leadership” hit the nail on the head. Although I am a heterosexual married female, that is the only difference between us. I share her thoughts completely regarding the Catholic Church and its stand against marriage equality.

I, too, am Catholic, although for many years I have felt a schism between the church of my youth and the one that claims to represent Catholicism today.

Each time I have made an effort to reconnect to the church, I find myself on the outside looking in, and what I see is not enough to keep me coming back. I see a pulpit that encourages discrimination and judgmental attitudes toward others. I see a pulpit that condemns and ostracizes others — and all this while there is a campaign to “Welcome Catholics Home.”

I am sorry, but I am becoming more and more ashamed to be called a Catholic. The church of my youth was loving, compassionate and “Catholic,” the definition of which is “free from provincial prejudices or attachments.”

How ironic.

Catherine Burns

Canaan

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Dexter postal worker

In reference to the story about the Dexter postal worker on Monday, Sept. 14: Congratulations for bringing back the old adage, “going postal” defined as “an American English slang term, used as a verb, meaning to suddenly become extremely and uncontrollably angry, often to the point of violence.”

How threatened could an adult woman be by a 5 pound dog and a 7-year-old girl? What kind of standards do the USPS impose on its employees?

Is there any kind of screening of potential employees implemented by the USPS to avert such behavior in the future, or do we need to “lock up” our children and pets when the mailman comes? What does this incident do for our trust in federal employees? Not much!

Mark Foley

Bangor

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