In case anybody missed it, on August 3, Detroit voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative to legalize possession of marijuana for medical use with a doctors recommendation. Traditionally conservative primary voters passed the initiative by a 60- 40 margin to mandate that this type of police activity be relegated to their lowest priority.
In other words, Detroiters told their police and city officials to get their boots off the throats of sick and dying patients and to focus instead on legitimate police activities.
Kudos to them.
Compare that to Traverse City. Two months ago, my friend, Matthew Barber, 31, a terminal MS patient, was arrested for possession of two ounces of marijuana, which he uses for medicine with the recommendation of his physician. County Prosecutor Dennis LaBelle has filed a motion to suppress all discussion of Matthews medical condition or use of marijuana to treat his symptoms, and he plans to ask for the maximum penalty of a year in jail... for a person with a two-year prognosis for a terminal condition!
I want people to understand something. Matthew developed his terminal MS because of the experimental anthrax vaccine he received in the Army during the run-up to the Gulf War. According to Matthew, more than 20,000 other soldiers were honorably discharged for this same adverse reaction. What kind of message is Dennis LaBelle sending in this case? Is this the best use of GT Countys criminal justice resources?
I have just one question for Dennis LaBelle: If it was your wife or a loved one that was terminal and the only thing that provided palliative care for her was marijuana, would you tell her to just buck up and die, or would you do anything you could to ease her suffering? Lets have a little perspective and compassion here.
Adam DeVaney TC
Results do matter
President Bushs new campaign slogan is Results Matter. I agree, results do matter. Some of Bushs results: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since George Bush took office, the economy has lost 1.8 million private sector jobs. I am certain we live next to or know someone who is one of those almost two million people. Yes, results do matter.
According to a 2002 Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic Report of the President, after 9/11, the collapse of the tech bubble, and the recession, the President predicted six million new jobs would be created; instead, we lost an additional one million jobs. Yes, results do matter.
Now, we have had new jobs created. Some in the area who once had good manufacturing jobs are actually finding work. Unfortunately, many of these jobs pay less than the jobs they lost. The Economic Policy Institute reported on average, jobs in growing industries pay $9,160 less - or 21 percent less - than jobs in contracting industries. Who can live on $9,160?
Yes, I do believe that reults do matter, and I ask all voters to keep these results in mind when they vote in November
Richard W. Brown Scottville
Recently on CNN, I saw an economic advisor in a nice suit insisting that, Outsourcing was good for America. Speaking as one of many former Lear employees whose jobs got passports and left town, Im comforted to know we are all doing our part for the good of the country.
In a perfect world this gentleman would have been informed that his job had been outsourced, on camera. Then the commentators would cut live via satellite to Saddams former Minister of Dis-information, Baghdad Bob. Gee, if exporting our jobs is so good for the United States, maybe its time to OUTSOURCE GOVERNMENT.
Joseph Morio via email
Friday, August 6 on the Parkway in Traverse City a small group of anti-abortionists gathered. They held huge signs of beautiful babies followed by horrific images of babies being burned and chopped into pieces. My pregnant friend cried out, horrified, as she passed, forced to cover her childrens eyes from the disgusting images of the latter.
What gave this group the right to terrorize my friend, her family and others who passed by? Visual terrorism seeks to shock and horrify those who see it, the same mindset of radical fundamentalists who put hatred and fear upon others. Would their God truly approve of these methods?
Im angry over this abuse of our privilege of freedom of speech. They forced our police to work overtime and forced a sickening expression of their ideology upon others. Apparently no permit was required because they werent going to use a megaphone! Is there nothing our city can do about this or future invasions of visual terrorism?
This group plans the same throughout Michigan. I pray other communities have the guts to stand up to the sick use of those images and not allow them to make another mother cry.
Sally Sanders-Arnold TC
Spread it around
Watching Fahrenheit 9/11 or reading the Record-Eagles coverage about topics like Matthew Barber and Tom Gilbert are only two great examples recently of why getting two, or more, sides of the story are crucial.
In these days of spin and misinterpretation, a little critical thinking can go a long ways.
If FOX news, The Onion, Northern Express or anything else is your SOLE source of information, you might want to broaden your horizons.
Rob Ford Elk Rapids
FOX News view
Im writing in response to those of you who think FOX News is tilted toward the right. The problem is youve not seen objectivity in news reporting for so long you fail to recognize it when you see it.
Chris Doyal Williamsburg
Pass it on
As many of you already know, Detroiters have voted decisively to remove the threat of arrest and incarceration for the medical use of cannabis in the city for those with a doctors recommendation. Now, in the wake of this victory, is an excellent time to press our elected officials to take legislative action on behalf of patients who can benefit from this safe and effective herb.
Melody Karr Mesick
Re: Food Fight, 8/12:
Those who protest genetic engineering should study the history of maize (corn). Modern corn may be the result of a natural mutation caused by a volcanic environment. It may be that modern corn diverged from its ancestors by the mutation of a single gene, or perhaps five. What we call corn seems to be the result of a feminization of the male tassel of the plant.
The most optimistic theory is that Native Americans genetically engineered corn from three otherwise unrelated grasses. Whatever questions biologists and archaeologists may argue, there is no doubt that corn is younger than humanity. After European contact with America, corn was spread around the world. Far more people seem to be naturally allergic to wheat than they are to mutant maize.
Michael E. Marotta Kingsley
Really big show
The just concluded Democratic National Convention in Boston might easily be billed as one of the Greatest Shows on Earth. Unlike most glitzy performances that fizzle two hours after their two-hour blast (some prior political conventions included), this spectacle captivated TV audiences for four days and invigorated the Democratic faithful who have hungered payback for over
As a pledged John Kerry delegate from the 4th Congressional District I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the convention first-hand. Words truly cannot begin to describe this experience, which meshed historic speeches, top-notch entertainment, an advanced degree in politics and first-rate social events.
Senator Ted Kennedy, in delightful fashion reminded the country that it was Democratic leadership that brought us Social Security, worker protections and improvements in the water we drink. Former President William Clinton had the courage to admit his shortcomings while reminding the public that John Kerry didnt wait to be called, he said send me. Then there was Barack Obama, the self-described skinny black kid from Illinois with a funny name who turned the arena upside down with his words of a brighter future for all. Then on to a passionate message, championing human rights by President Jimmy Carter or the plea to America by President Reagans son Ron, that we in America do not turn our backs on the potential benefits of stem-cell research.
Before it was all finished, Senator John Kerry gave the speech of his lifetime when he laid out his vision for America. As the years pass and political pundits sort through the archives, I am compelled to believe that history will remember the unity and the firepower of the 2004 Democratic National Convention as the start of something very special. This greatest of shows will be recorded as a modern day Boston Tea Party that woke up so many sleeping Democrats to rally and to capture the ultimate prize in November.
Rhonda L. Estes TC