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Letters to the editor, March 27

Published:   |   Updated: March 28, 2013 at 02:09 PM

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Say no to medical marijuana
Did you know there is a bill right now in the Florida legislature to legalize medical marijuana? 

Historically, once a state establishes a medical marijuana program, marijuana activists then lobby for legislation to expand the program and legalize marijuana outright. 

Efforts to expand current medical marijuana are evidenced by 49 bills introduced in other states during their 2011 legislative sessions and similarly, in 29 states in 2012. These bills sought to include additional qualifying medical conditions, expand the amount one can possess or cultivate at home, establish a regulated system to cultivate and supply marijuana and establish marijuana dispensaries, among other things.

Some facts about use in the USA: Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug. In America, 7.1 million people are addicted to illicit drugs, with marijuana being the choice for 63 percent of them (4.5 million). One in six adolescents who try marijuana will become addicted. Marijuana is used by 75 percent of all illicit drug users. Up to 79 percent of marijuana users have concurrent alcohol use. The potency of marijuana has increased 151 percent from 1983 to 2007.  

In 2012, 23.2 percent of 12th graders in Florida reported past 30-day marijuana use, up from 19.7 percent in 2008. Marijuana is listed as the primary substance of abuse for 26.7 percent of treatment admissions in Florida and of those, 54.5 percent were between the ages of 12-17. 

Academic research has shown that chronic marijuana use leads to impaired learning, short-term-memory and information-processing deficits, delayed emotional development and an average 8-point drop in IQ. Marijuana use has been shown to permanently impair brain development in youth.

Putting the word medical in front of marijuana does not make it harmless.  Marijuana smoked for so-called medical purposes has the same long-term effects on the user as marijuana used for recreation. Marijuana use is associated with memory loss, cancer, immune system deficiencies, heart disease and birth defects, among other conditions. Most major medical associations have rejected smoked marijuana as medicine.

Let your representatives know you say “NO” to medical marijuana. 

Lamar Koontz,

Legislative Chairman, Hernando County Community Anti Drug Coalition

Tria's burger rant
I noticed from Len Tria's Sunday column that he has switched from being an expert on Benghazi to one on hamburgers. His hamburger rant was much more impressive than all of his professed knowledge on Benghazi.

Len states that, according to Elizabeth Warren, hamburgers are going from $7.19 to $7.23 with a boost in the minimum wage. According to Len that hamburger would cost $9.99. 

It appears that, with the stroke of a thought, Len has abolished a hamburger place called McDonalds. I don't know what I missed, but Len the businessman lost me on that one. I've never had a $7 hamburger.

The Sunday “Letters to the Editor” contained a comment on the “Shameful use of a tragedy.” The writer implies that the people of Colorado possess some control over the future of Harry Reid, a senator from Nevada. 

The tragedy referred to occurred in Nevada. While every contributor has a right to an opinion, it may behoove you to exercise some oversight into the correctness of its content.

Joe Green


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