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09.22.10


Yes on Prop. 19

On Nov. 2, we go to the polls to vote on a number of issues. Among them is Proposition 19, which will legalize marijuana, its recreational use and its production. The good aspect of this legislation means that incarceration for three-time offenders would end. The bad news is that the sale of marijuana is still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

The argument for the passage of Prop. 19 is very compelling. The amount of money saved in feeding, clothing and indicting three-time offenders would make a difference in the local and state budgets. Passing the resolution does not imply that nonusers will rush to become users. It probably will lower crime rates in states bordering Mexico and lower the need for additional officers to search areas for marijuana plants. It probably will do less harm to the general public than drivers that partake of alcohol. The lives of many who cross the borders between Texas and Mexico will not be at the mercy of drug dealers, cartel lords who do not hesitate to kidnap and murder travelers when drug sales don't satisfy the drug lords. I urge a yes vote on Prop. 19.

Ruth Hunter

Santa Cruz


Sobering numbers

I was fortunate enough to be stopped at a Petaluma Police Department sobriety checkpoint recently. It caught me by surprise, as I'd never encountered such a traffic stop.

The police officer who checked my driver's license asked a few questions, which I answered honestly. He quickly tested my eye reactions and before waving me on, handed me a postcard with the title "DUI—Can You Pay the Price?"

It was a shock to see the costs in print; up to as much as $13,500 in financial cost, besides other "costs" that are even more critical to one's life.

Those few minutes gave me new insights that will make me a better, more aware driver, and certainly will help me, as I hope it will others, choose not to drink if driving.

I thank these enforcement officers with helping to educate the public while limiting the number of impaired drivers on the road. To others, such as Kendall-Jackson, for making breath-analyzers available for voluntary self-testing, I congratulate you. May other companies, businesses and organizations follow your example.

It was an eye-opening, one could even say sobering, experience.

Marlene Alves

Santa Rosa


Boo on Barry

If I had been working like mad in 2008 to get Barack Obama elected, I would not work for the midterm elections. Guantánamo is still here. Rendition is still here. There is the saying that no torture should take place; I haven't seen the mechanism to ensure that that's the case. The withdrawal from Iraq has left some 50,000 remaining. We have stepped up and escalated the war in Afghanistan.

I think all of this is very contrary to the kind of thing that Obama was exuding during his campaign, including the nuclear point. What kind of thing is this, to get rid of old-fashioned weapons with the Russians and then argue for $180 billion to modernize the nukes—$100 billion for the weapons carriers, $80 billion for new warheads? What kind of nuclear-free world is this? He should have had the decency, when Norway made the mistake of giving him the Nobel Peace Prize, of saying, "I graciously, gratefully decline. I haven't earned it yet. Let's come back when possibly I have earned it." He didn't say that, and dispensed with the prize money in a disgraceful way.

Ted Rudow III

P Park





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