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December 5, 2013 at 7:01 PM
Not a test calendar
King County is set to approve a zoning ordinance that would pave the way for a large-scale marijuana facility in the middle of two heavily populated neighborhoods, Redmond Ridge and Redmond Ridge East [“County is asked to block pot farm,” page one, Dec. 3].
The facility would be within walking distance of our school, child-care centers, and many homes and parks.
I am not here to debate the legal or moral implications of marijuana use. My focus is on responsible zoning. I simply do not think that a heavily populated, residential neighborhood is an appropriate place for such a facility. I am concerned about the potential harm such a facility would cause my neighborhood. I am concerned over increase in crime and the effects on neighborhood health from air pollution.
Our neighborhood is being specifically singled out by name in the proposed zoning ordinance, and we are rightfully upset over that. This facility belongs in industrial areas with other factories. Our neighborhood does not want to be a test case for marijuana zoning. We do not want to become a cautionary tale for irresponsible zoning ordinances.
— Virginia M. Onu, Redmond
Proposed marijuana production facility defies common sense
I am a concerned father of two young children, who has lived in Redmond Ridge for the past seven years.
There is a proposal and fast-track approach to locate at least two marijuana production and processing factories within the highly dense neighborhoods of Redmond Ridge and Redmond Ridge East.
The proposed location is close to an overflowing elementary school, a preschool, county playgrounds, nature trails, wetlands and facilities built primarily for young children and young families.
While the matter is not about marijuana itself, it is about where that substance should be produced.
I would like the Metropolitan King County Council to spare our young children. Please do not single out the Redmond Ridge area for marijuana production. Instead, invest in education and jobs.
— Sai Ramanath, Redmond
November 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM
Legislature needs to take action on an abused system
Guest columnist Steph Sherer states, “Misinformation includes claims that 95 percent of patients don’t really have treatable medical conditions, despite their doctors’ determination otherwise” [“The medical marijuana distinction,” Opinion, Nov. 19].
She clearly is not very familiar with how the medical-marijuana system works in Washington state. Many people seeking pot for recreational use avoid going to their own doctor for an authorization because they know their doctor is most familiar with their medical history and therefore more likely to deny an authorization.
Instead, they go to a doctor who is known to freely give authorizations, or to one of the “clinics” at a pot dispensary, where they get an authorization (often without any medical documentation of a qualifying condition) by simply paying a fee to a practitioner who is unfamiliar with them.
Yes, there are patients with valid reasons to get an authorization, but they are a minority of all who do. The medical-marijuana system in our state is much-abused. This is why the state Legislature is looking at ways to tighten the regulations, or to integrate it into the recreational pot system coming next year.
— Bob Knudson, Seattle
November 6, 2013 at 7:01 PM
Don’t advertise marijuana as the next cool thing for young adults
I am so discouraged about the many ways that the use of marijuana is made to look cool to our children. The Times refers to it with the slang word “weed,” the police give out bags of Doritos and someone is responsible (the police? The city attorney?) for not enforcing the law against smoking it in public. It’s starting to look like those beer commercials that imply that when you drink beer, your life will be full of parties having tons of fun.
As the mother of a heroin addict who died when he was just 24, I can tell you that what you are doing does some young people irreparable harm. Initiative 502 will not keep dealers off the streets who sell drugs to kids — first marijuana, then some free drugs as a bonus and, more often than you’d think, ending up with heroin.
You all need to watch how you’re trivializing and/or marketing this drug as the next cool thing that comes with turning 21. At the very least, taxes from marijuana sales should pay for drug treatment and prevention for those who couldn’t handle the hype.
Jane Lamb, Seattle
September 27, 2013 at 5:28 PM
What’s in a name?
A new lexicon is need when referring to those who consume marijuana. In a recent article, The Times refers to younger people who use marijuana as “stoners.” [“State’s pot estimate: joint losing popularity,” page one, Sept. 25.]
Not all people who consume marijuana are stoners, just as not all people who drink alcohol are drunks.
Cindy Schindler, Bellevue
September 9, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Pot should be legal everywhere
Dealing with marijuana, currently a federally illegal, controlled substance, has always been a serious struggle for our Congress as well as local governments. [“Coming soon: 334 pot stores in state,” page one, Sept. 5.]
I want our members of Congress to finally consider decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana and its derivatives, treating it the same way alcohol has been since the repeal of the 22nd Amendment.
There is no doubt that there are safety and health concerns that must be addressed. But let’s put it this way, alcohol was, is, and will be dangerous when consumed in an excessive and irresponsible manner. It is a regulated substance that can be consumed and even studied for medical-treatment purposes.
Marijuana has the discoverable potential to save many lives, if fully legalized and treated the same way alcohol and other substances currently are.
Why can’t the federal government make up its mind and pave the way for sensible, science- and society-centered drug law reforms?
Erick Dietrich, Walla Walla
August 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM
Where’s the science?
Teens are used to adults making statements about marijuana that are not true. This leads them to reject any advice from adults that might be true. [“Guest: What to tell your child about marijuana,” Health & Fitness, Aug. 25.]
The Times should require a guest writer like Dan Labriola to provide a source for his dubious assertions of “facts” about marijuana.
I don’t believe he can provide a single scientific, random, controlled, double-blind study that backs up his assertions. Put this stuff on the Opinion page, where it belongs.
Kurt Johnson, Kirkland
August 14, 2013 at 4:11 PM
State is blunderingly slow
Recently, I commented on the state Liquor Control Board’s blunderingly slow process for formulating rules for growing and selling pot. [“Board seeks additional time in crafting rules for legal pot,” NW Wednesday, Aug. 14.]
The one constituency the state seems to have forgotten is the consumer. I know the lawyers who wrote Initiative 502 crammed every possible contingency into it. But the worst was putting the state in charge and giving it a year to get the system up and running. It will use every minute of it.
The state is good at lots of things, but as we just voted them out of the liquor business, how on Earth did we think they would be good at the pot business. Once the state’s bureaucrats got a hold of the process, what we get is repeated delay.
How many more delays can we expect?
Peter Arthur, Seattle
August 14, 2013 at 6:32 AM
Advocacy is more important than ever
This year’s Hempfest is the most important one of them all. [“Popular Hempfest may be coming down from its high,” NW Sunday, Aug. 11.]
The goal of legalization has been reached, so advocacy has changed from “legalize it,” to how to run legalization. Things are really serious now, so advocacy must be stronger than ever.
The benefit to all society through the benefit of legalization must be enacted.
Douglas Mays, Seattle
July 31, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Government needs to clean up its act
A college student is arrested for smoking marijuana and is put in a 5- by 10-foot windowless room without food, water or toilet facilities, and forgotten for five days. [“DEA to pay $4.1M to man forgotten in holding cell,” News, July 31.]
He almost suffers kidney failure and is close to death from dehydration. The government pays and apologizes.
My question is this: If this is how we treat someone for smoking marijuana, how many more government agencies (local, state and national) have similar holding cells where the same thing can happen?
It makes us look like a Third World country. Maybe we need more whistle-blowers to try to keep the clean image America has always conveyed to the rest of the world.
Don Rogers, Camano Island
July 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM
Regulations are problematic
I’m proud to be a Seattleite, and we have been on the front lines when it comes to a sensible approach to pot. But watching the current wrangling over the rules and regulations is mind-boggling. [“New penalties for boating under influence,” NW Tuesday, July 23.]
We finally get the state out of the liquor business, and immediately put them in charge of running the pot business. I predict that, in less than 10 years, we will be back at the polls voting the state out of the pot business.
The economic model of taxing at all levels will insure the black market continues to thrive. If you are lucky enough to have a good, reliable dealer now, you aren’t going to pay retail prices.
Right now, it looks to me like the only place you can smoke pot legally is at home with your family and kids. I understand there is a lot of reefer madness still out there, but we are not the first to venture into legal pot. Check out Amsterdam.
Let’s all relax and enjoy one of God’s truly wonderful gifts to mankind.
Peter Arthur, Seattle
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