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Dispensary critics sorely misinformed

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Joann Breeden’s letter is both misinformed and misleading ("Legal pot will lead to more addiction," Star-Advertiser, June 25).

» The pending legislation does not legalize marijuana. It sets up a tightly regulated dispensary system designed to undercut the black market while providing registered patients with medicine their doctors recommend.

» Marijuana doesn’t "stop working"; unlike hard drugs, it doesn’t create a tolerance in users.

» Of course drug users start with marijuana; it’s the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world after alcohol.

» The crimes that she attributes to drug use are instead linked to the failed war on drugs and turf battles and ripoffs that arise from that.

» Most important, the "gateway theory" that marijuana will lead to the use of harder drugs was discredited back in 1997 by the federal Institute of Medicine.

We agree that the people of Hawaii need education on all aspects of marijuana. But it should be based on scientific evidence and research, not on sensationalized and inaccurate assertions.

Pamela Lichty
Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii

Colorado better off since legalizing pot

Bill Funk and Rep. Marcus Oshiro have not been paying attention to actual data coming out of Colorado ("More pot means more problems," Star-Advertiser, Letters, June 17; "For-profit marijuana will be dangerous," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, June 14).

Since legalizing marijuana, Colorado has seen an 8.9 percent drop in property crime and an increase of $40.9 million into the state’s coffers. It also is not wasting taxpayer dollars on adjudicating marijuana offenses, at a cost of $300 per case, so that is saving the state money.

Crime is down, state revenue is up and its judicial system is freed up to deal with real criminals — sounds like a dream come true.

Oh, and yes, Colorado’s gross domestic product has increased since the state added a new product to the marketplace, which is Economics 101.

Unfortunately we are not talking about legalization here in Hawaii; we are only talking about getting proven medicine into the hands of our longtime suffering friends and neighbors.

Hopefully next session our legislators will see the light.

Michael J. Golojuch Jr.

America’s decline obvious to all but us

Bravo to Raj Kumar and especially to Natsuko Tateishi for their letters lamenting the violent state of our union ("We haven’t learned yet to live in peace" and "U.S. gun laws are fraught with irony," Star-Advertiser, Letters, June 23).

I’m certain that all the crocodile tears by politicians, religious leaders,media, et al. about the recent terrorist-racist-hate massacre won’t permit any discourse about the culture of disrespect, arrogance, killing and impunity for the actual criminals in these areas:

» The extreme militarization of our government, which has forgotten what diplomacy means in foreign affairs and contact with its citizens.Drone strikes; disregard of the Palestinians’ human rights; shock and awe of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya; Islamophobia; hypercapitalism — all deepen the coarsening of America that’s obvious to all but us.

» Violence infuses American homes because of all the above and more. Until parents teach their kids respect for women, tolerance, love and nonviolence, we will continue to deteriorate asa self-aggrandizing model of justice, liberty for all, and peace.

Robert H. Stiver
Pearl City

Mayor opposes idea of special funds

While the city will continue to devote as many resources toward Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park as possible, the recent creation of a special fund has caused much confusion.

We understand the City Council’s intent to get more money for Waipio, but the reality is that user fees collected there are a fraction of what it takes to maintain the park. In 2014, fees collected totaled $86,614 while expenses totaled $635,872.

A special fund means added bookkeeping for us, but will not result in more funding for Waipio. The mayor returned the bill unsigned, not wanting to mislead the public on this point.

The state Legislature is working to eliminate special funds, not create more.

We agree with this direction and believe that user fees should go into the general fund to benefit all parks, including those in less-affluent communities. That is a fair policy.

Georgette Deemer
Deputy managing director, City and County of Honolulu

Suu Kyi has huge task in Myanmar

According to The Economist on June 6: "No Burmese politician has ever benefited by standing up for the Rohingyas (Burmese Muslims)."

Assuming this is the case, political leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be putting her political future at risk if she speaks out against the killing of Muslims in Myanmar ("Myanmar rejects rights for detainees," Star-Advertiser, June 14).

However, if she does not speak out, at stake will also possibly be the economic prosperity of Myanmar and the validity of Buddhist law in all Buddhist countries.

ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations) has not been inclined to seriously address the problem of violence against Muslims, even today with Myanmar chairing the association. Nor can much be expected of the generals of Myanmar, poorly versed as they are in Buddhist governance and law.

It remains for Suu Kyi, with her enormous influence, to harness the good intentions of the Myanmar people and to remind them of a core value of Buddhism — cherish usefulness and reject what is useless. And, what could be more useless to a society aspiring to economic prosperity and sound governance than for the society to allow the killing of its citizens?

Koji Takakuwa

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