No state interest in marijuana vote
Regarding “AG asks court to block city’s new pot law” (April 10 Eagle): The attorney general of Kansas took an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the state of Kansas (one of which regards municipal elections). In conformity with that oath, he has a duty to withdraw his ill-considered attack upon the lawful, free and open election by the citizen voters of Wichita establishing the proper penalties in their municipal court for a violation of their municipal ordinance for the use of marijuana in their city.
No state law has been affected in any way. Hence, there is no state interest to be protected or furthered by this groundless request to ask the Kansas Supreme Court to violate its oath of office by sustaining it.
A shameful event recently took place in Garden City (“Kan. mom at crux of national pot debate,” April 30 Eagle). A Crohn’s disease patient who has been successfully – but illegally – using marijuana (cannabis) oil to combat her illness had her 11-year-old son detained and their home raided by local authorities after the boy dared at school to challenge claims about the harmful effects of marijuana.
The young man has seen his mother’s condition improve to the point that she is now able to parent him much more effectively than she ever could while writhing in pain on the couch all day.
The list of medical conditions known to be responsive to treatment with cannabis and/or its oil continues to grow rapidly, while acceptance of this controversial plant as a legitimate medicine has never been more widespread. Nearly half of all states, along with the District of Columbia, have approved some level of legality for medicinal cannabis. The Kansas Speaks 2015 Survey by Fort Hays State University reports that 68 percent of Kansans support medical use of marijuana.
Surely the time has come for Kansas to show compassion for unfortunate patients who continue to struggle and suffer needlessly.
Kansas for Change Inc.
Regarding “Kansans support welfare reform” (April 26 Opinion): What horrors did state Sen. Michael O’Donnell’s great-grandmother endure when she got government benefits after her husband died? Was she able to feed her children? Maybe she could pay for a house, clothes and utilities with those benefits.
I started working when I was 14. I continued to work until my kids were born. When they were old enough, I went back to work. After a divorce, I was a single mother and had to rely on government benefits to get by. I had three part-time jobs at the time.
O’Donnell might discover in the future what it means to be responsible for a family and not be able to find a job that will sustain that family. He and his Republican colleagues think that humiliating the poor will make things right. As one formerly in need of government assistance, I think humiliation is a poor way to govern.
GMOs are safe
I write as one of the Kansas farmers supporting the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act championed by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita. This bill would enable farmers to continue to provide a safe and nutritious supply of food and fiber to consumers.
If enacted, the bill would establish one labeling standard throughout the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would provide labeling guidelines nationwide instead of each state providing its own standards, which makes for higher consumer costs.
I take great pride in growing the safest and healthiest crops to feed our growing population. Genetically modified crops allow me to do that. GMO crops are more drought-tolerant and insect-resistant, so I do not have to spray more harmful chemicals. GMO crops mean I am more efficient and more productive.
Anti-GMO activists continue to use smear tactics to mislead consumers on GMOs. But the use of biotechnology allows farmers to grow produce on less land and help farmers be better environmental stewards.
When Dave Trabert writes, the pinball machine of fact is actively being tilted (“Cut spending,” April 26 Letters to the Editor).
Trabert is a paid lobbyist for a Koch-funded “think tank,” the Kansas Policy Institute. To say this is not to attack Trabert or his organization, but simply a factual recognition of the mandatory viewpoint Trabert must profess. He cannot do otherwise and keep his job.
Trabert tells us that it is government spending (not slashing taxes) that has ruined the Kansas economy. If you have lived in Kansas for a few years, you will find this quite a strange argument, especially if you recall the battles over chronic underfunding of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and public schools. The current battle pits the Kansas Supreme Court, trying to enforce the state constitution, against the current Brownback government’s taxation giveaways and consequential revenue losses.
Trabert doesn’t like public-sector spending. Holding the private sector sacrosanct and frequently portraying government spending as evil, Trabert sounds much like his predecessors in the John Birch Society, bedrock influences on those who now fund his one-note cynicism-and-doubt factory. Trabert cannot argue otherwise, cannot consider the situation impartially, cannot dissatisfy his employers by expressing a balanced opinion. He is a part of the problem, not a part of the solution to it.
Who’s behind ads?
My dad always told me to follow the money when the opposition’s voice seems too loud. I suspect that is the case with the folks from Kansans for Responsible Liquor Laws.
The frequency of the ads I have seen in the media indicates they are spending a ton of money to uphold the status quo, far more that the little mom-and-pop liquor stores could support. Where is the funding coming from, other than those stores? Will this be another case of learning after the fact who is behind the ads?
Republicans like to champion free enterprise, and not picking winners and losers. Let’s make that happen in the retail liquor business. Let the store compete for my business. The best selection and price get the business.
I was saddened and disturbed when I went to the funeral of a gentleman who was in the same nursing facility as my mother. I went to visit her every day and got acquainted with the other residents. Even though my mother passed a year ago, I continue to visit at least three times a week, sometimes more.
What disturbed me was that the church was full to capacity for the funeral of this man, but I rarely had seen any of these friends visit him at the nursing home – other than his wife, who came every day. Why do friends and relatives not visit their loved ones on a regular basis while they are still living?
I know it is difficult to see them with the physical challenges they endure, but the rewards and blessings I receive from them are enormous, especially when I walk through the door and am greeted with smiles and warmth.
Most of these individuals are quite lonely and would appreciate even a short visit. We, as individuals, need to get out of ourselves and think of what actions we can take to help other people.
LARRY D. BISHOP
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