U.S. marshals stand at the entrance to Oaksterdam University in Oakland… (Noah Berger / Associated…)
Crackdown on pot
Re "Raid on pot college stuns activists," April 3
Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee's disability notwithstanding, the reason I can't get on board with the indignation everyone else has about the raid on the pot trade school in Oakland is because the medical marijuana debate has been co-opted by just plain old potheads who want to get high and, in a lot of cases, make some money.
Instead of getting happy about finding a "doctor" so you can get your card for (pick one) anxiety, finger cramps, hangovers or hangnails, just admit you like the high and man up and fight for legalized marijuana, period. Don't pretend to be supporting people who need it for a real medical problem.
Isn't it a bit ironic that on Tuesday's front page there was an article about the federal government striking at the heart of the medical marijuana movement by raiding the pot trade school and dispensary, then inside the paper there was a report on President Obama hosting a summit with Mexican and Canadian leaders where the drug trade was a major issue?
Obama had promised that the federal government would not prosecute medical marijuana users who comply with state law. So why are U.S. agents interfering with California law?
Robert C. Thompson
Marina Del Rey
True costs of our medical system
Re "The calculus of ER charges," Column, April 1
Before retiring three years ago, I worked for two different hospitals as a financial analyst and contract negotiator, and I can state unequivocally that Steve Lopez provides a very accurate depiction of healthcare finance.
This should not be taken as a criticism of the current hospital administrators or their employees; they are caught up in a system not of their making. They are all healthcare workers and consumers, sometimes caught in the middle themselves.
This bizarre calculus developed slowly over decades as a result of competing interests. It needs fixing. Anyone who denies that overhauling our healthcare finance system is necessary must be a politician too cowardly to do what's right.
When I was a kid in Hollywood in the 1960s, our family doctor made house calls. His primary diagnostic tools were his stethoscope and the little devices he used to look into our ears, eyes and throat. On a really special occasion we would get X-rayed or have blood drawn. Doctors often said things like, "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning."
In essence, our lives were simpler. We accepted illness, death and all of life's other accidents and imperfections.
We did not fight things in court unless we felt we had been maliciously harmed. Everyone makes mistakes, and we forgave those. We felt entitled to nothing more than what we could honestly earn.
Things have changed. We have more, and everything costs more. But can we maintain it at this rate? Is it worth it?
Arthur G. Saginian
Obama misstates the court's role
Re "Obama hopeful about health law," April 3
The Times reports that President Obama "remained confident" that theU.S. Supreme Courtwould uphold Obamacare. In fact, Obama delivered a blistering admonition to the court.
Attempting to meddle with the business of the court, Obama stated that "unelected" justices ought not disturb the work of the legislature. He wholly ignored the federal system of checks and balances and that the court's proper function is indeed to determine if the work of the legislature passes constitutional muster, regardless of whether the law is viewed as the president's pinnacle.
Obama said that if the Supreme Court did not uphold the healthcare law, it would be an "unprecedented and extraordinary step" and that the law was written by a democratically elected Congress. Obama must have missed a few classes in law school.
The Supreme Court's job is to determine if laws are constitutional. And Obama taught constitutional law?
Caught up in deportation fight
Re "Deported, a father may lose his three sons," April 1
This is an egregious misuse of authority in Sparta, N.C. Natural parents rarely have to prove their financial ability to support their children.
What this case boils down to is overreaching petty officials trying to verify a natural parent's lifestyle in Mexico. It matters not at all if the boys would have a "better" standard of living in America. Of course they would, but that's not relevant.
What permeates this story are the provincial attitudes of the social services workers who are vying for these boys. Even more visible is the obstructionism and meanness of these same people under the guise of helping the little boys.