Medical Use of marijuana requires more research | Aug 14, column
Stop the pot bashing
As a pharmacist, I wonder why there is negativity against marijuana or cannabis to the point where some want to prevent its use medically.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance along with cocaine and heroin. This classification means it is very addicting and has no medical use. But recent findings show it has had benefit in some childhood seizures.
Only the National Institute on Drug Abuse supplies cannabis for research under a contract from one supplier: the University of Mississippi pharmacy school. They are responsible, along with the DEA, for placing roadblocks to abundant research.
Keeping cannabis a class I substance in my opinion is outdated. There is no way it is as addicting as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and that is a Schedule II. We must move forward and allow more abundant research on cannabis, because it will provide more than just a treatment for seizures and that is what is behind some of these roadblocks.
Keeping the lid on cannabis research in my opinion continues to allow opinions and ideology to override the truth.
Jim Demmy, Kenneth City
PTC seeks Lyft, Uber deal | Aug. 14
Consumers will lose
So the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission is dangling a $30 minimum in front of Lyft and Uber as a compromise? In dollars and distance, this is what it really boils down to: To protect a couple of taxi barons' wallets, an elderly person who needs a ride to and from a clinic 3 miles down the road and has had enough of dirty, late-arriving and rude cabbies will have to pay at least $60 for the total 6-mile ride. The bright side? It is cheaper than the HCPTC minimum $100 citizens are forced to pay a black car service for the same transport arrangement.
Walter Kozak, Spring Hill
Mary Ellen Klas' articles are one of the reasons I turn to the Tampa Bay Times to keep abreast of state news. However, most of her articles about the legislative debacle known as redistricting refer to the "Democratic leaning" coalition plaintiffs that have challenged the districts in court: Common Cause and the League of Women Voters.
As chair of Common Cause Florida, I am compelled to point out that both organizations are strictly nonpartisan.
What's more, when Common Cause challenged legislatively contrived redistricting plans in the 1980s and 1990s, we worked as diligently to champion the rights of the then minority party voters, Republicans, as we now champion the rights of all voters, including Democrats.
The point is the majority party will always try to use redistricting to enhance its own power. Common Cause has consistently championed districts where voters can select their representatives rather than representatives selecting their voters. It's why we helped convince 63 percent of the electorate to pass the Fair District Amendments to Florida's constitution in 2010, and it's why we now defend those amendments in court.
Peter Butzin, Chair, Common Cause/Florida, Tallahassee
Some dignity for families of Dozier | Aug. 13, editorial
Detzner not solely to blame
This editorial "credited" Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner with attempting to stop the exhumations at Dozier previously.
Why does the Times keep attributing to Detzner the clumsy — and ultimately abortive — shutdown earlier this year of the work by the USF team whose efforts may finally give families of the "Dozier Boys" some answers about the fate of their young relatives there?
Detzner was appointed by Rick Scott and serves strictly at the governor's pleasure.
Do the editorialists really believe that the governor would allow Detzner to go "off the reservation" by trying to shut down the project at Dozier on his own?
Kudos should go to Attorney General Pam Bondi for leading the pushback against the guv, and to Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and to Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam for backing her.
Joe McColloch, Tampa
Church cancels service for gay man | Aug. 9
It's their choice
This article shows that we have (and should respect) freedom of religion.
Peter Wohlfelder, St. Petersburg
War threatens to mess with Obama's golf swing | Aug. 13, column
Every summer Americans have to read inane op-ed pieces (this most recent one by the Washington Post's Dana Milbank) about our modern presidents vacationing with their families.
In this electronic world, this type of reporting denies credibility. Making fun at presidential golf playing, beach going, sailboating and horseback riding on their ranches, provide fodder for opinion writers. In general, these writers are as predictable as the rising sun. Denying that any person cannot know what's happening worldwide is rather a mute point in the 21st century. Of all people, the leaders of countries can feel the pulse of world events in an electronic wink of the eye.
Does any intelligent, well-informed individual really think that a president playing a game of golf is not tuned in to global events? I say, enough of this genre of pablum journalism. We have better things to do as Americans, even when we are on vacation.
Florence Laureira, Hudson
Very definition of tax | Aug. 14, letter to the editor
Paying for privatization
The writer makes excellent points about increased "fees."
However, the "convenience fee" charged by an "outside company" that charges $145 more than the previously university-imposed fee of $15 is the cost of "privatization."
Unlike the government, that company needs to make a profit. Perhaps we should examine just how much more cost-effective the private sector really is in taking over (government) functions.
Moe Loogham, Lutz