Letters to the Editor
As a retired police detective, it was embarrassing to read how my colleagues of the California Narcotics Officers employ a lobbyist to protect their jobs, lucrative overtime and toys bought by the taxpayers to chase California patients. Meanwhile the owners of tens of thousands of personal computers in California containing child porn and child rape videos sleep soundly, knowing police officers value a marijuana bust more that arresting them. How sad.
Officer Howard J. Wooldridge (retired)
Education Specialist, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc)
Law enforcement union lobbyist John Lovell stands in opposition to A.B. 2743 (Saldaña) because of an apparent question as to whether or not medical marijuana collectives are in compliance with state law and the fear that they attract "criminal elements" ("Medical marijuana bills moving forward," Capitol Weekly, May 22, 2008).
The problem with his logic is that Assemblywoman Saldaña's legislation clearly only addresses the use of state and local law enforcement resources in raids on state-legal medical marijuana facilities. The bill would not affect the enforcement activities against any who are not operating legally under state law.
Opponents of this legislation – and the medical marijuana laws already on the books – claim that medical marijuana patients and providers are in violation of state law. If that is true, there is absolutely no need to bring in the DEA and try them under federal law.
The truth is that A.B. 2743 is narrowly crafted legislation that merely reinforces the will of the voters, who have already spoken on the medical marijuana issue. The legislation also restates existing legal precedent. Last year, the Fourth District Court of Appeals unanimously ruled, "It is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws…"
Hopefully legislators will look past the ideological zealotry of some opponents and see A.B. 2743 for what it is: sensible legislation to ensure that state public safety resources are not used to willfully undermine state law.
F. Aaron Smith
Marijuana Policy Project
What is the constitutional basis for rent control and why is it not a "taking"? I have never been clear on that. If the state can tell someone what the value of their property is for rental purposes then the state could establish sale prices, as well. But, I suppose that with the Supreme Court’s expanded view of eminent domain law, the state already has the power to establish a "fair" selling price.
Thaddeus W. Taylor III
Chairman, Inyo County Republican Party
Thank you for publishing the artcle Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act; ethical and sound science, authored by Marji Beach. For far too long the welfare of animals thought of (if at all) as only commodities in the food system has been a hidden issue. Not unlike the facilities where these poor creatures live out their brief, miserable existence consideration of their treatment has remained in the dark. It is time for humans to re-think what industrial agriculture is doing–to the environment, human health and the billions of faceless animals, all of which experience a range of emotions heretofore marginalized, if not denied altogether.
I urge you to continue covering this and related topics as the fate of the earth literally is depending on how and what food we produce for human consumptio.
Thank you for publishing Marji Beach’s op-ed on the cruelties suffered by farmed animals in California (“Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act; ethical and sound science,” May 22). I completely agree with Ms. Beach: no animal should be forced to live in a cramped space, unable to move, and denied even their most basic instincts.
While this practice helps lower the retail price of meat, egg and dairy products by a few pennies, such cheap food comes at a high cost: the suffering of millions of animals every year intensively confined in massive warehouses that may contain hundreds of thousands of animals.
There is a growing concern that this type of farming is also contributing to the depletion of our resources, pollution and global warming. In fact, after a two-year study, the Pew Commission recently recommended a phase-out
of "the most intensive and inhumane confinement practices": gestation crates, veal crates and battery cages. The esteemed panel of scientists, veterinary school officials, ranchers and public officials cited unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and animal welfare.
It's time to give a little room to the animals from whom we ask so much. Come Election Day, California voters can hold corporate agriculture to basic standards of humanity by allowing animals to fully extend their limbs, lie comfortably and turn around. To learn more about this ballot initiative, please visit www.HumaneCalifornia.org.
Thank you for printing the story about the initiative AB 1634 on the measure introduced by Lloyd Levine being turned down by our government.
This is such an important initiative it must pass. We people who care know that is why so many animals are being put down at the shelters. Also, the prevention of cruelty to animal act, ethical and sound science issue. Most newspapers will not print these issues. I can't believe they think it is not important enough to print.