Pot dispensaries can be win-win
Unmentioned in your story on medical marijuana ("Profitable pot," Star-Advertiser, March 20) was the potential economic benefit to Hawaii.
While it’s hard to predict revenues, we can look at other states’ experience.
Colorado, the model for the dispensary bill still in play (Senate Bill 1458), made $2.2 million in 2010 from sales taxes. They allocate a percentage of this to substance abuse screening, referrals and treatment.
Hawaii’s medical marijuana law has been in effect for more than a decade without changes. The more than 8,000 registered patients tell us that safe and legal access to their medicine is their most pressing concern. Medical cannabis dispensaries would address this need while providing a significant revenue stream for the state and counties.
It’s a win-win.
Pamela G. Lichty
President, Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i
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Kaiser can do better online
Thank you for the timely and informative article, "Online medicine catching at Kaiser," in your March 23 edition.
As a long-time Kaiser client, I use Kaiser’s online services often. However, even useful services can be improved. For example, Kaiser states that a doctor will respond to an email message within two days. But if the doctor is away from the office, there is no response, not even a "not available" response. The request for information seems to go into a black hole.
Kaiser can do better than this.
John C. Burgess
Civil unions law a point of pride
Although the writer of a letter on March 13 ("Election was not a vote for civil unions") thought it was a dig at me and my family, I take it as a humble compliment to be in the forefront of equal rights for our LGBT minority.
I must admit there are several people who I believe are more deserving in leading the charge for equality.
In my particular race, I may have lost the primary, which did not center on civil unions, but we won the battle for civil rights.
As a state senator said, when the opposition knows it has lost, it will grasp at anything.
Again, thanks for expressing your sour grapes because it made my day.
America truly is addicted to war
The cartoon caption accompanying the "America’s Longest War" article (Star-Advertiser, March 21) says it all: "Might as well face it — we’re addicted to war!"
One would think that 10 years in Afghanistan, combined with the very long Iraq War, would satisfy our cravings. But, no, our addiction is now fed by yet another war — the assault on innocent civilians and military targets in Libya.
The good news is that not all Americans are in denial. Polls show that 64 percent say the Afghanistan war is not worth the cost, and 73 percent want substantial troop withdrawal by year’s end. Last week, 93 members of Congress voted for a House resolution to end the war this year. Unfortunately, Hawaii’s two representatives were not on board.
The disastrous fallout from our war abroad now comes home, where federal and state governments balance budgets by slashing social programs and waging war on their own workers.
It’s time for Americans to own up to our collective addiction and take the cure that comes with a commitment to peace rather than war.
Support people who make paiai
I am a taro farmer from Waiahole, Oahu. My son Hanale is the owner and operator of Homestead Poi from Waiahole.
We are in support of Senate Bill 101 (which would authorize the sale of traditional poi, or paiai) and would like a public hearing so that concerned consumers as well as developing entrepreneurs can be heard.
I believe that by passing this legislation the public health concerns on this food product will be addressed, as well as the development of a new cottage industry that will help our state get closer to achieving its goal of sustainability and give the state revenue in the form of taxes.
Within my circle of friends are people young and old who place great value on paiai as a food and are just waiting for this law to be passed so that they can take advantage of augmenting their income as well as delivering family and friends with a quality product. Included in this group are charter schools, some of which grow their own taro.
I sincerely hope a hearing for SB 101 can be scheduled so the democratic process can continue on this issue.
Daniel K. Bishop