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The Times' editorial on pot legalization; the necessity of a college degree; Fox News' Haiti coverage

Letters to the editor

January 19, 2010

Marijuana as a cash crop?

Re “Legalize pot? Not so fast,” Editorial, Jan. 13

So, if we go by your logic of not supporting AB 390, I assume you also think that medical marijuana should be illegal in California because it is classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug? Our federal government is usually a step or two behind anyway, so again, we must lead the way for the nation.

This long-overdue bill would do exactly what's needed: stop imprisoning people for a drug that is far less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, and instead put it front and center in a place where it can be properly regulated and taxed.

Jon Stein

Glendale

Greed, once again, prevails. So now it is OK to legalize marijuana as long as a tax of $50 per ounce is imposed? Another form of entertainment that only the well-heeled can afford?

The black-market illegalities surrounding marijuana will always be in effect unless common sense is employed in its legalization.

Sandi Lopez

Visalia, Calif.

::

The only crime here is the ongoing persecution of marijuana, and not fully legalizing it on both federal and state levels will secure the crime element so pervasive in its distribution. The federal anti-marijuana drug war is costing millions of dollars.

The prejudices regarding the nature of marijuana are trumping all the violence that is occurring in its name. This is twisted logic. Spark up a joint and enlighten up!

Scott Matz

Los Angeles

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Someone please explain to me why it's OK for people who are sick to smoke marijuana to feel better, but it's not OK for people who aren't sick to smoke marijuana to feel better?

David Hill

West Hollywood

Thinking vs. fixing

Re “Is a college degree necessary?,” Opinion, Jan. 13

The point of going to college is to learn to think. Students are challenged with competing ideas and must learn to develop an open mind. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen much in today's high schools.

The emphasis on technical training in high school could be just another way of making sure that a large portion of our population doesn't learn how to develop critical thinking skills. Sure, they would be technically skilled enough to plumb a bathroom or build a house, yet they still wouldn't be able to tell a socialist from a communist. As working-class Americans, they probably would continue to vote against the party that represents their best economic interests.

Perhaps the answer is to have students go to college first to learn to think and then return to the technical training.

Michael Vetrie

Canyon Country

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As a retired electrician and contractor, I heartily agree with Mike Rustigan.

I have never been out of work and have always made a good living. I have often stated that we need good trade workers as well as college graduates.

So few young people are going into the trades that we are likely to be very short of workers who can keep things repaired and maintained in the years to come. Because of this, those who learn a trade will be in short supply and will consequently command excellent wages.

John Novak

Pasadena

Fox News' Haiti gap

Re “CNN does it right in Haiti,” Column, Jan. 15

James Rainey's column on Fox News' scant coverage of Haiti merely shows what we all have known for years: Fox News is nothing more than a feel-good station for right-wing viewers who have little interest in anything outside their own limited agenda.

Why would anyone even turn on such intellectually impoverished programming offered by Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin? One loses faith in one's fellow citizens when he discovers acquaintances who waste their time on such drivel and who ignore the responsibilities of world citizenship, much less the human and moral obligation to help those in dire distress.

Praise be given to the real news organizations. They deliver the necessary food for thought, not just bubble gum tainted by racism.

Patrick O'Brien

San Juan Capistrano

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Rainey never stops bad-mouthing Fox News and O'Reilly. The truth must hurt liberals like Rainey.

Haiti deserves assistance, but let's not forget all the aid given to it in the past with nothing to show for it. Like most of the aid given to parts of Africa, much of the money never gets to the people.

We should limit, whenever possible, our aid to food, water, clothing, building supplies and medical assistance. Let the U.S. buy these items from American companies, at a respectable discount, and send them to distressed countries. We'd help those in need and simulate our economy at the same time.

Bob Guarrera

Laguna Niguel

The filibuster is worth keeping

Re “A job for Boxer and Feinstein,” Opinion, Jan. 14

I would ask Harold Meyerson if he would have been compelled to write a piece like this if it were, say, 2003 and Republicans were in power?

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