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Monday's letters: Marijuana business already here

Locals: Let ill people use pot | Dec. 26

Marijuana business already here

The clock is ticking in the frantic race to obtain the 683,149 valid petition signatures needed by Feb. 1 for the question of whether or not medical marijuana should be on the November 2014 ballot.

Out of nowhere this week, I was approached in the employee lunchroom of our local VA hospital by a young man soliciting my signature for this issue. I was rather miffed over the fact that this individual was on a government facility, freely moving from one employee to another, pen and petitions in hand.

While I am ambivalent on the overall pot issue, it led me to ask two quick questions of this petitioner: How much are you making to do this, or are you just a staunch supporter of the initiative? He replied: "Two dollars for each person I sign up, and I'm going for 200 signatures today; and I'll get it." And as for the other question, he said, "Of course I'm a supporter; why else would I be here?"

Based on his response, it seems that the business of marijuana is already underway in our state.

Mike Merino, Tampa

Locals: Let ill people use pot | Dec. 26

Regulate and control

Calvina Fay, the anti-medical marijuana executive for Save Our Society from Drugs, states: "But regardless of whether one believes that street pot is medicine, when people examine the proposed amendment's language closely, they reject it because it is fraught with so many loopholes and opportunities for abuse that would be very bad for Florida."

Her statement counters her intention of making medical marijuana seem like a bad idea by using the term "street pot is medicine." In reality that is what people in Florida have now.

If medical marijuana became legal it would be regulated by the state from growing stage to treatment stage. Fay's statement is akin to saying we cannot legalize alcohol because bathtub gin can make you go blind.

Scott McKown, Palm Harbor

How I stumped 'Jim' the robot telemarketer Dec. 27, commentary

Robot just says 'no'

This column by Frank Cerabino struck a chord with me.

When recently calling to order a white pages phone book, my call was answered by a robot. The following is not verbatim, but this is how it went down.

After asking my name and address, I was asked how many books I would like. I replied, "Two."

The robot replied, "You are allowed only a quantity of one. … How many books would you like?

I replied, "One." It forced me to say one when I wanted two.

I thought about calling back and asking for a quantity of "one" so I could get my "two," but discounted that as I assumed the robot would know I just called.

It really made my day; I hung up the phone and roared with laughter.

Joanna Skupien Harrington, St. Petersburg

Flood insurance

Monstrous increase

I am very disturbed by the monstrous increase for flood insurance.

Yes, we live on a canal off the intracoastal. We have lived in this house for over 35 years and have never had a flood, even over the seawall. Now we are going to have to pay this enormous amount for flood insurance.

I suspect that a lot of this increase is because of Katrina, which occurred in a city that is below sea level. There, the fault was almost entirely caused by the levies (which the government had built and was supposed to maintain).

Flora Ernie South, Largo

Times columnists

The dynamic duo

I consider myself fortunate to live in a city that employs two of the funniest writers I've read in a long time. Daniel Ruth and John Romano, kudos! You deserve a book of collections. Thanks for making me laugh all year long. I'm a better person for it.

Robin Sterling, St. Petersburg

Monday's letters: Marijuana business already here 12/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 27, 2013 2:32pm]
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