Legalize and tax it
Gun forum aims to curb violence | Dec. 30
It seems we learned nothing from the lesson of Prohibition. I worked in Medicaid managed care in my short years in New York. The inner East Side of Buffalo had the highest per capita killing at the time in the country, mostly over crack territory. We should recognize that we are going into 2022, not 1922. If we legalize, regulate and tax marijuana and cocaine, I think we would see approximately 75 percent of gun violence go away. Do the same with prostitution, and see violence against women experience a similar drop.
Tom Ogle, Winter Haven
At the ballot box
Our courts are at risk of losing their legitimacy | Dec. 28
Columnist Michael McAuliffe’s excellent analysis of the current partisan political atmosphere is spot on. We would all do well to remember that courts and elections are where disputes are resolved, not yelling at each other in stores, streets and parking lots.
Chuck Siegfried, Lutz
Needle exchange saves Tampa lives | Dec. 29
I understand the intent of the needle exchange, but take another example: Would giving bank robbers money be an appropriate response? How about giving speeders or car thieves a free get-out-of-jail pass? Both of these examples would help individuals plus save taxpayers money by making jails and the criminal justice system less overcrowded. I just scratch my head and try to think of all the unintended consequences of every do-gooder program that purports to be the next newest panacea.
Barry Koestler, Saint Petersburg
America’s costly health care system is not working | Editorial, Dec. 29
The health care system is expensive and hard to navigate, but let’s be careful about laying all the blame for outcomes on that system itself. We have a culture in this country that prioritizes individual freedom over the collective good. Remember “supersize me”? Are people forced to smoke or put drugs into their bodies? I’m aware of food deserts and the despair that comes from economic vulnerability. I’m aware that addiction is not always a choice. But as we’ve seen during the pandemic, there’s a whole cohort of our fellow Americans who will inflict harm on themselves and those around them simply to make the point that they cannot be told what to do. I wish I had an answer for that, but I do not.
Jack Ellis, Tahoe City, Calif.