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E. Scott Cracraft - Trying patients' patience

For several years, people have been trying to get medical marijuana legalized in New Hampshire. Although opinion varies regarding the recreational use of cannabis, it appears that most New Hampshire citizens at least support making the drug legally available for medical users.
Marijuana is a drug that can be given to patients with a number of conditions including cancer, AIDS, and such neurological diseases as multiple sclerosis. While it is certainly not a "miracle" drug, it does have legitimate medical uses. It helps enhance the appetite and relieve the nausea of many chemotherapy patients. It can also help with muscular spasticity for MS patients. Moreover, it frequently gives patients with terminal and chronic conditions a better quality of life.
Many New Hampshire physicians would prescribe it to their patients it if were legal as is the case in a number of other states. Marijuana gives relief to a number of patients. Why should we ban it for people who have chronic or terminal illnesses if it makes them feel better? The old Puritan idea that pain and suffering is somehow good for your character seems a bit harsh.
The support for such a reform in our cannabis laws has been reflected in the state Legislature, including a session under Republican control and a session under Democratic control who have realized the need to legalize the drug for patients who need it. What stood in the way of a compassionate marijuana law have been two Democratic governors, Governor Lynch and Governor Hassan. Governor Lynch vetoed a bill to allow for medical pot and although it passed under Governor Hassan who supported it, it has been held up because of those who have put pressure on the state's executive branch. This has at least partially been the work of state law enforcement organizations.
The original idea was to allow patients (or a caregiver) to grow up to a certain number of marijuana plants for medical purposes. Now, Governor Hassan insists on only four legal dispensaries or outlets for the drug and these will not be up and going for at least another year. At this point, they are still reviewing the applications of those who will set up the dispensaries Nor have patients receive their cards. It seems likely that the recent cuts to the Department of Human Services will only delay the process.
One has to wonder: who will make a profit from these outlets? Meanwhile, medical marijuana patients have to choose between being lawbreakers and doing without the medicine that their doctors have advised.
One argument advanced by law enforcement officials is that if medical marijuana is legalized or even made easier to get, some of it will get through to the "recreational" pot market. They are probably right but there are a number of legal prescription drugs, including opiates, that make it to the recreational market and we do not ban those medicines for patients who need it.
And, America's most dangerous drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are completely legal and available "over the counter" as long as you are 18 (for tobacco) or 21 (for alcohol). No one would argue that at least some alcohol and tobacco does not reach our underage population but we do not completely ban those drugs!
Several years ago when this discussion started, I attended a debate on the issue. A representative of the N.H. Police Chiefs Association realized that maybe some patients needed cannabis but he said that such patients should "trust" our police officers to make "the right decision" when dealing with a medical marijuana patients and distinguishing between "medical" and "recreational" use. With all respect to law enforcement, the police and the courts should be subject to the law, not the individual whims of a police officer!
One has to wonder why law enforcement is so opposed to such reforms. Do they think it will result in less "business" for them?"

(Scott Cracraft is a citizen, a taxpayer, a veteran, and a resident of Gilford)

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Plenty of regulations could have prevented financial crisis in 2008

To The Daily Sun,

June Huot's letter of April 22 demonstrates blind partisanship and ignorance of history and economics.

According to Wikipedia, the grassroots TEA Party movement was "kick-started" in 2007 (by Ron Paul, not the Koch brothers) essentially in opposition to deficit spending. But, its dramatic growth was in response and opposition to the Wall Street bailouts proposed by President Bush. (Citing Frank Rich as an authority on the TEA Party is like citing the devil as an authority on morality.)

Wealthy people have always been involved in politics. Like billionaires Gates, Buffett, Steyer, Soros, Zuckerberg, et. al. who will help Hillary raise $2.5 billion for her campaign and fund other Democrat candidates, the Koch brothers fund things they like.

Whatever the Kochs' position on deficit spending, TEA Party members oppose deficit spending and are trying to elect politicians who will end it and the immoral burden that our debt passes to subsequent generations.

The TEA Party doesn't oppose regulations. It opposes excessive, wasteful, or non-enforced regulations that kill jobs and/or create false feelings of safety that lead to disasters such as the 2008 credit crisis.

Plenty of regulations and regulators existed and should have prevented the 2008 credit crisis, but they didn't. Why aren't people in jail? Or at least fired? (Unbelievably, President Obama promoted Timothy Geithner, who failed his responsibility for regulating the banks, to be Treasury secretary.)

Despite Dodd-Frank and Obama's many other increases in regulations, our nation's finances are more risky now than in 2007-2008. National debt is up about 80 percent. Government is again encouraging very risky mortgages. Wall Street's exposure to financial risk is two to three times what it was in 2008 and, over opposition of the TEA Party, Elizabeth Warren, and conservative politicians, taxpayers are again on the hook for those losses. The rich are richer, the rest of us are poorer, and our nation faces a worse financial catastrophe than in 2008.

TEA Partiers want Obamacare repealed and replaced with an affordable system that works without putting government bureaucrats between doctors and patients. TEA Partiers care about everyone, including the millions of people hurt by health insurance cancellations and significant premium and/or deductible increases. TEA Partiers oppose Obamacare waste, government controls, rationing, insurance company subsidies, and taxes that slow investment in medical advances. If Huot thinks these are good things, then she and TEA Partiers won't agree regarding Obamacare.

Since Huot complains about Huckabee whether he says one thing or its opposite, it seems Huckabee is simply guilty of being Republican, unable to say anything that Huot would approve.

The "Republican war on women" (a charge which amuses Republican women) is simply a Democrat propaganda scheme, aided by the Democrat-controlled media, that exploits the poor historical and economic educations provided in Democrat-controlled public schools.

Huot is outraged at Huckabee's desire to empower women and insists that women aren't victims of their gender. But, then Huot lists some existing and proposed laws that women need. So Huot does think that women are victims and wants women to be empowered, she just doesn't like Republicans who want women to be empowered.

Since the 1963 Equal Pay Act (when there was a real problem), women (and men) have been able to sue employers for discrimination in pay based on gender. (Ken Gorrell's article, "It's Time For Reality Day", in the April 30, 2015, The Weirs Times —www.weirs.com — provides interesting information on pay "inequality.") If pay inequality isn't just a trumped-up political issue, one wonders why Democrats continue supporting politicians like President Obama and Hillary Clinton who pay women less than men in equal jobs?

Democratic politicians promote minimum wage increases to falsely give the impression of compassion for minimum-wage workers but really out of self-interest. Minimum wage increases often drive union wage increases which drive union dues increases and union contributions to politicians.

Typically inexperienced and unskilled workers receive pay increases above the minimum wage as they learn and demonstrate useful skills. Our real problem is that there are too many unskilled and inexperienced workers and too few jobs because of our stagnant economy caused by progressive education, regulatory, tax, energy, and other policies which drive jobs overseas.

Huot says Democrats are strong advocates of women controlling their medical choices; so are the rest of us. But Democrats seem to be happy with government bureaucrats getting between patients and their doctors, the rest of us aren't.

But it is true that many Americans disagree with Democrat Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz who believes that healthy, small, even 7-pound, women (and men) can be killed in the uterus just for a woman's convenience.

The progressive politicians and policies that Huot supports, no matter how beneficent they sound, actually victimize women (and men). Single motherhood, which usually guarantees a life in poverty, is way up since progressive policies were implemented to "help" the poor. Too many young people are deprived of decent educations because Democratic politicians care more about their union supporters than students. Tens of millions of good manufacturing jobs have been driven overseas by excessive regulations demanded by environmental extremist supporters. And, private sector workers are overtaxed so politicians can buy the loyalty of government workers with compensation which far exceeds private sector workers in similar jobs.

To fund all this, progressive politicians create Ponzi schemes and enormous debt which steal from future Americans, impose heavy taxes, and inflate away the value of people's hard earned money. As a result of progressive policies increasing numbers of Americans, even two wage-earner families, struggle just to pay today's bills.

Sadly, blinded by her partisanship, Huot fails to see that the people working against her interests are in Washington, D.C., not in the TEA Party.

Don Ewing


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