Letters for July 20, 2017

Domestic Vietnam

In these perilous times it is difficult to try to distinguish which one thing out to “get” us would be number one on the list. Would it be health care, threat of war, collapsing economy, foreclosure of your home? Which would be at the top of your list?

Obviously, there are many more threats we all face daily, but there is one not mentioned here which affects each and every one of us—the drug war. Over a period of many decades I have written about it, talked about it, and warned of all the negative consequences of the failed policy of this idiotic effort the government labeled a war. If I were simply a lone voice in the wilderness, believe me, I would have given up long ago. But the many voices, belonging to some of the most intelligent and interesting people, all have voiced similar concerns.

One whom I’ve admired, and also at times disagreed with, was the late William F. Buckley, Jr. He told us about countless numbers of sources that have produced evidence of the blatant attempt at vilifying this “devil weed with roots in hell.” This insanity has been going on since the 1930s. Buckley had this to say: “Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”

We’ve known all along that marijuana is not a deadly drug (schedule one, indeed), but rather, a green plant that has a long, distinguished history of service to mankind. And to go the step further, the incredible usefulness of the hemp plant has yet to reach its zenith.

I wish I could say that great strides have been taken by the many states that have legalized medical marijuana, while some have even legalized the sale and possession to adults over 21. Thanks to our national Constitution’s 10th amendment (state rights). But the absurdity of the feds to continue a costly and ineffective drug war is a slap in the face to anyone who benefits medically or otherwise from the various components found in marijuana.

Jim Reynolds


Calling Indian mothers

Re “Naan stop search” (Arts & Culture, July 13):

Indian food is my favorite. Thanks for the good suggestions. Thali sounds perfect. I had not heard of it. I’ve tried to learn to cook Indian, and while I’ve come a long way, I can never come close to what I get at, say, India Kabab. Indian food seems to be more difficult to create and complex in flavor than anything else. One dish can take me a couple of hours sometimes. I think I need an Indian mother to help me learn to cook it. I am proud of my pakora, though!

Bradley Fleegle


Letter to Sen. Heller

Thank you for not lining up in lock-step behind the Republican leadership’s proposed health care legislation. I’ve written you before when you surprise me with a vote and your NO vote on this health care legislation is a much-appreciated surprise.

I listen to the Republican effort to try to sell this bill using outright lies and/or trying what they did in the House—getting members to vote for something they know is wrong with a promise that somewhere in the future it will get fixed. I hope you know what I and many Americans know, that this is pure bullshit. And I agree with Sen. Collins, who has stated correctly that patches and tweaks will not fix this bill. This is one of many upcoming challenges—call them tests—for you as a senator whose constituency is significantly more moderate than your party seems to be on almost all the critical issues. I hope your vote on this health care legislation is an indication of how you will consider future legislation that is equally unfavorable to most Americans and your ability to do what is right for real people in your state.

Your party needs to stand up to the crazies who only care about philosophical dogma and getting re-elected in a gerrymandered district. There are plenty of votes nearer the center that can actually get things done for America. And most of us are plenty tired of how Republican leadership consistently caters to the extremists. In a true democracy, a small but loud minority cannot and should not decide what the majority can and can’t do.

Michel Rottmann

Virginia Highlands