To The Daily Sun,
What? decriminalization or legalization of marijuana? What has become of our pristine society? Have I been living in a rabbit hole, because to think that our government, which has never steered us wrong, which is full of non-hypocritical, humble, truth speaking people of the highest values whom always look out for what's best for us, is now considering legalizing an incredibly toxic, lethal drug that has paralyzed our society? We must side with the champions of life such as state Sens. Jeanie Forrester or Andrew Hosmer who are speaking up against such blasphemy as legalizing a drug that has been so detrimental to our way of life.
Okay, back to reality, the people mentioned above are beating the war drums and revving up the fear mongering rhetoric of the 1920s. I've thought about the issue for years and of course being a father has weighed heavy on my conclusions, and have it broken down on three fronts.
First, will it turn our children into brainless hooligans? Lisa Morris, director of Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, gives out some statistics on polls on current students who use (24 percent), but it begs the question that she never touches. Being as it's illegal now, how did these kids get marijuana? The answer is from dealers. If you put that marijuana in stores, kids now will have much less access to it. You say 44 percent of high school kids say it is easy to get? If legalized, it's now the same as kids asking adults to buy alcohol, which I'm sure happens, but not in the numbers that kids are going to strange adults houses now to get weed. I wonder what percent of kids think alcohol is easy to get? Putting the drug behind counters and enforcing the laws for minors the same as alcohol would make many young twenty-somethings have to actually get a job.
Secondly, stop acting like we're talking about heroin here, which is a real, actual problem. Although its primary active ingredients (THC and other cannabinoids) produce psychoactive effects at doses of a couple of milligrams, they do not have lethal effects. Unlike other psychoactive drugs, including alcohol, aspirin, opiates, nicotine and caffeine, cannabis is not known to cause fatal overdoses.
The Drug Enforcement Administration's own administrative judge Francis Young, in his 1988 decision recommending legalization of medical marijuana, wrote, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to mankind." From animal experiments, it has been estimated that a lethal does of cannabis would be 20,000 to 40,000 times a normal dose: approximately 40 to 80 pounds of marijuana. No deaths from cannabis overdose have ever been recorded. Saying that Colorado has shown significant increases in marijuana involved traffic fatalities and emergency room visits is irresponsible and fear-mongering. How many accidents happen in New Hampshire or around the world that one or both of the drivers may have had a bit of marijuana in their systems? What? You don't know? Show me statistics and references.
Maine has decriminalized marijuana since 1976, and apparently it never became an issue with raising traffic or ER fatalities. I will not fear for my life on the roads or on the streets if it is legalized. That's just silly. But I am concerned if my wife and child are out driving on a Friday or Saturday night when a higher number of drunk or buzzed drivers are out and about.
Lastly, politicians always wax philosophical about new ideas and the future, but mostly it's all just hollow promises. These bills to decriminalize or legalize marijuana were spawned and backed by the majority of the citizens in these states and it's working well.
You criticize the businesses popping up in Colorado, at the same time piling on taxes and permits necessary to run small businesses here in New Hampshire, ranked 50th in the country for starting a small business. It's the dawn of new entrepreneurships, and you sit here trying to keep us in the medieval times, raising our gas, property, cigarette and luxury taxes at your leisure. Here's an epiphany, Colorado made $2 million in marijuana tax revenue in January alone. With medical marijuana they are set to make $40 million in 2014. To me, that is stimulation of an economy. And you're not really changing anything.
Without this legalization, it would still be going on. Oh, by the way. you're saving millions of police manpower too (over $3 billion federally) which you could re-invest into heroin drug task forces, clinics for synthetic addictive drugs, or even do something like fix up our roads or build new bridges. Imagine that, you could really turn it into a positive. But no. You will instead drag your heels, beat your drums and do something totally shocking, like raise our gas tax again. Good job. Way to think out of the box.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:47
To The Daily Sun,
At this time I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to those folks in Plymouth who expressed their confidence in me and voted for me for selectman on March 11. Although I was unsuccessful in my efforts to serve the people of Plymouth for the next three years as selectman, I consider the opportunity to run for this local office as an honor and a privilege. Fortunately, my service to my community in other areas will continue unabated.
I do offer my sincere congratulations to Michael Conklin on his re-election, and Armand Girouard on his election for the two open seats, and I extend to them both my best wishes as they commence their service for the next three years to the people of Plymouth on the Board of Selectmen.
On a related note, I believe that it is important for everyone to know, that there are many other ways that one can enjoy the benefits of being of service to their community. In addition to public/elective office, there are many opportunities to serve your neighbors on volunteer boards, in youth sports and school activities, as well as on non-profit boards, and local civic organizations. To those of you folks who already so serve, you have my greatest of thanks. For the rest of you who can and are able, please consider getting involved for the good of all concerned.
May God bless America and our great State of New Hampshire.
Omer C. Ahern Jr.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:10
To The Daily Sun,
Years ago Barack Obama started talking about income inequality. So it's ironic that income inequality has increased significantly during his presidency. It's ironic, but it's not surprising because income inequality is the unavoidable result of President Obama's "progressive" policies.
Despite frequently berating the rich and demanding that they pay their "fair share," President Obama's policies have made the rich richer. But, of course, that is what the rich expect for a $35,000 dinner.
The rich are major beneficiaries of big government, from fat government contracts (often without competitive bidding), special tax treatments, regulations for favored businesses, selective enforcement of laws and regulations, etc.
On the other hand, non-rich working Americans are worse off now than five years ago. This, too, is the unavoidable result of President Obama's progressive policies.
Most non-rich working Americans depend on employers for jobs. Policies that hurt employers' chances for success also hurt Americans needing a job (or a better job).
Obama's progressive policies increase business risks and costs, making success more unlikely. Businesses slow or stop growing or contract, slowing or stopping job growth or even cutting jobs.
Small businesses create the most jobs. Yet, starting a business is quite risky. About half of all new businesses fail within four years. Poor economic times and progressive policies combined reduce the chances for the success needed to create jobs.
Obama's extremist regulations are closing down existing businesses (e.g., mines, farms, electricity generating plants) costing hundreds of thousands of good jobs. Obama's extremist energy policies raise energy costs which increase the cost of everything we buy and force some businesses to cut jobs. Other Obama policies prevent the creation of millions of high-paying jobs, especially in energy, pipeline, and related businesses.
President Obama's support of illegal aliens reduces the wages and number of jobs for working Americans, increases our tax burden, and creates victims of accidents and crimes committed by people who shouldn't even be here.
Can President Obama be so blind that he doesn't see the disastrous results of five years of his "progressive" policies? Doesn't he see the reduced wages, the lost jobs, and the increased cost of living that harm Americans who are not rich? Doesn't he care? Or is income inequality only a fake concern, a ploy to fool people and gain power?
President Obama knows that poor and struggling people typically reward the politicians who promise the most unemployment payments or welfare. Is political advantage from making more people dependent on government and politicians the real intent of President Obama's "progressive" policies? Could our president be this evil? The evidence is pretty condemning.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:01
To The Daily Sun,
Do you love to travel, or looking to plan your next dream vacation, then you should attend Penny Pitou Travel's third annual Passport to the World Travel Trade Show.
Happening on Saturday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Margate Resort, it promises to be loaded with fun. You will enjoy one-stop shopping for vacation information, and have access to a plethora of travel professionals, eager to share their knowledge and helpful travel tips.
There is plenty to see and experience. Thinking about a cruise or trip to Europe? Attend a presentation to learn more. Hear about a walking tour in Africa, or tours to Ireland, England or Scotland ... or see what Mickey has in store for your next Disney vacation.
Last, but certainly not least are the goodies and prizes. There are giveaways everywhere, and drawings for travel-related prizes. Including, a chance to win a seven-day, all-inclusive vacation at a Club Med Resort.
So why are we so enthusiastic about this travel show? Last year, we attended this free travel show and we loved it. We learned so much about the places we hope to visit some day, and we walked away as the grand prize winners of an all-inclusive trip to Mexico. Thanks to Penny Pitou Travel, we enjoyed an amazing vacation we have only ever dreamed about.
If you love travel, or just want to experience the world under one roof, do not miss this amazing travel show.
Patty & Tim Rice
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:56
To The Daily Sun,
I hope taxpayers of Belknap County, are happy with the way the County Convention has reined in and bullied our County Commissioners until I believe they would like to run away and hide. The almighty chairman, Mrs. Colette Worsman, rules with an iron fist. She treats those that do not agree with her with little respect and allows them little input. I would never call Mrs. Worsman a dictator, but Russia's Mr. Putin could learn a lot from her. That is if he could associate himself with someone more radical than he.
Feb. 12, when Mrs. Worsman decided to convene a meeting on a snowy night and had a quorum, the question of the county budget was voted on and it carried, seven in favor and six opposed. Mrs. Worsman then called another member of the Convention at his home. Mr. Comtois was allowed cast his vote over the phone. According to Mrs. Worsman that was considered a tie vote and the motion was now defeated. The budget should have passed. It seems inconceivable, but it really happened.
Thank God our county commissioners had Mrs. Worsman served with papers and the question of the validity of the vote will be determined by the New Hampshire Attorney General. Mrs. Worsman isn't alone, our other two Convention members are Herb Vadney and Robert Greemore. I consider Herb a good friend and we have been involved together many years in the American Legion, but still I believe that Herb and Bob would run right into Mrs. Worsman if she stopped too quickly. County Commissioner Steve Nedeau, also a good friend of mine, has been elected by Meredith and county voters each time he has run for public office, including selectman, state representative, county commissioner and Meredith town moderator. Voters must have a lot of faith in his judgment and integrity to perform well the duties of these positions.
When I voted for three of our state representatives, I hoped they would go to Concord and help solve the many problems facing New Hampshire. I guess being in the minority and not being able to effect change they decided to control Belknap County. (I wrote the above letter on March 12. Before I could submit it to The Sun, another article about the convention appeared in the Sun March 13.)
When I read the March 13 letter I thought, here we go again. Because of budget cuts, the commissioners have eliminated four positions at the County Nursing Home. It seems Mrs. Worsman loves to pick on workers. It must be why some Town of Meredith employees started a union. Another twist in the next meeting, after Worsman had allowed the vote over the phone on Feb. 12, the Commissioners who had supported the budget maintained that this action violated the Right to Know Law. So of course Mrs. Worsman attempted to amend the minutes of Feb. 12 meeting. It was also revealed that before the meeting she and a few other members of the convention discussed the procedure to allow Mr. Comtois to participate over the phone. It was pointed out there was no quorum at that time and not all present were involved in the discussion. I bet you can guess what happened next. Mrs. Worsman attempted to amend the minutes of the Feb. 12. She was outvoted 5 to 4 with 4 abstentions. Not to worry. Mrs. Worsman is planning to bring up the minutes again, but not in Laconia, but in Concord at lunch break on March 19 and March 26. I don't know if the public can attend those meetings. Meredith citizens voted her out as selectman and I will help give her the boot as state representative. I'll be looking for help.
L. Michael Hatch
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:49