People approved of pot dispensaries, let’s have them

 

As a person who requires medicinal marijuana in order to live a productive life, I am completely outraged with the government here in Maine!

I worked extremely hard back in the late ’90s to get our initial medicinal marijuana law passed. This law, in short, gave me the right to be a criminal to obtain needed medication.

Now, in November of last year, the people of Maine overwhelmingly spoke stating that this law was ridiculous without a system to provide a supply of the medication. We the people directed our Legislature to provide a distribution process.

Since then our attorney general (in her infinite wisdom) has stalled this whole process with committee meetings, to decide what committee meetings are appropriate.

On top of this, we have had small-minded-small-town politicians (beginning with Brewer and most recently Lewiston and Auburn), trying to further stall this whole process with their local injunctions against implementing the will of their constituents. I hope that the voters remember their callous disregard for their vote when these officials are up for re-election.

Twelve years is long enough for this nonsense to go on. This is a viable medical treatment and should be addressed as the people of the grand state of Maine directed. Enough with the politics and opinions of officials with a room-temperature IQ.

I urge the voters in this state, that overwhelmingly demanded that this treatment be effectively implemented, to rise up and demand that their wishes be honored.

It is time to mourn the dead and fight for the living!

Almon W. Mitchell, Fayette

Ignoring pot initiative would be nothing new

Your editorial titled “Medical pot should come from well-regulated farms” (March 18) got me to thinking. In the piece you mentioned the citizen’s initiative that mandated access through local dispensaries. You also stated that legislators should do nothing to stand in the way of those wishes being carried out.

I also remember a citizen initiative a few years back that demanded that the Legislature and governor provide 55 percent of the funding for K-12 education in the state of Maine.

This goal has never even come close to being achieved. Isn’t it odd that we now feel it to be a higher priority to provide illegal drugs to those same children, than it is to provide adequate funding for their education.

Perhaps someone could explain to me why I must get my prescriptions at a licensed pharmacy and those drugs require FDA approval, while the state of Maine is proposing to dispense weed without utilizing either of these federally regulated services. It appears we may be usurping established consumer protection laws and practices.

I think if we as a state can ignore the initiative on education funding, that we certainly would be warranted in using the same tactic on the distribution of illegal weed.

Richard C. Sanborn, West Baldwin

Readers give their reviews of performances – and critic

Every so often a reliable critic gets out of the wrong side of bed and writes a review he shouldn’t. That of the Portland Symphony’s concert March 9 falls into that classification.

I’ve conducted Strauss’s “Tod und Verklarung,” so I know very well how it goes and thought that Mr. Robert Moody and his charges did justice to the work.

I was particularly impressed by the pacing of the final (the Transfiguration) part of the opus and that Mr. Moody gave those last, heart-rending suspensions their full and climactic due. I didn’t think much of the “Requiem,” but that’s another matter.

A footnote: If a performer misses a couple of notes (and who doesn’t?), it is not worth any critic’s time. Mr. Christopher Hyde, whose writings normally I greatly admire, should know better.

Francis Madeira, Falmouth

Conductor emeritus, R.I. Philharmonic Orchestra

Christopher Hyde’s review of the March 9 Portland Symphony-Choral Art Society performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem” was thoughtful as far as the composition itself was concerned, but he missed a real opportunity to say something about a remarkable performance — by the PSO and the Choral Art Masterworks Chorus — of an extremely difficult work. Singers and music director Robert Russell had worked on this project since January and got it right – really right – by the night of the performance.

For all Hyde said about that result, positive or negative, he might as well have stayed home and listened to a recording. A reviewer needs to do more than that.

David D. Platt, Yarmouth

My husband and I don’t rave about every performance we attend at Portland Stage, but when we do we stand and cheer as we did last evening for “Master Harold.”

This is an incredible one-act play by three amazing actors about a subject matter that remains relevant too many decades after it should have disappeared. Racism should be erased from all societies. This play, so couragously written and performed, should be mandatory viewing for high school age and beyond.

Thank you also to Portland Stage for bringing such high-quality actors and interesting, thought-provoking plays to our city; it is most always exciting to see something different from the tried but often well-worn standards.

Cindy Wilson, Portland

Photos of kids on Page 1 unwise for paper, parents

With child abductions and murders occurring almost weekly somewhere in the United States, it is shocking that you print photographs of children along with their names, ages and hometowns on the front page for your daily weather spot.

While Maine’s marketing motto is “The Way Life Should Be,” a quick look at your Dispatches column on page B2 tells us the way life really is: Child pornographers really do exist in America’s vacationland!

The only thing worse than your editorial decision to continue this feature is the one made by the parents of children, some as young as 3, to comply with your ongoing call for photos.

Andrea J. Rouda, Freeport

Critics of Republicans haven’t gotten facts right

Jim Matthews’ statement in his letter Feb. 28 that the Republicans have stymied President Obama’s agenda with filibusters is an outright falsehood.

Until the special election and seating of Sen. Scott Brown in the last month, the Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Let the fact speak for itself.  The Democrats are the only ones who have held up President Obama’s agenda for the last year. They now have help in assuring the American people are not railroaded with the progressive agenda of this president.

H.W. Beatty III, Windham

Step aside, Republicans! Let Democrats show you how serious corruption is done.

Three years ago, when Democrats ascended to power in Congress riding the Republican “culture of corruption” rhetorical wave with promises to drain the congressional swamp of ethical violations, I remember seeing a Time magazine two-page photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel and Sen. Charles Schumer in a law library looking like they just stepped off of a Harvard Law School promotional pamphlet.

They looked marvelous! The caption should have read, “Here we come to save the day!” Just for kicks, I made a half-hearted effort since then to save stories involving their subsequent misdeeds and hypocrisy. Here’s a tiny sample of what I collected:

The wife of Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is a former director of Bermuda-based IPC Holdings, an AIG-controlled company that benefited from corporate bailouts.

Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y., will not seek re-election after the married father of two allegedly “made unwanted advances toward a junior male staffer.” Remember former Rep. Mark Foley?

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., who neglected to pay taxes on unclaimed property he owns in the Dominican Republic is finally being investigated and has stepped down as a committee chairman after receiving special gift trips to the Caribbean from big corporations. I thought big corporations were bad.

Travel abroad by members of the current “drain the swamp” Congress was $13 million in 2008, a 70 percent jump from the GOP-controlled Congress of 2005, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of travel records.

Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., now admits he tried to raise money for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whom authorities say sought to sell President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

Federal agents raided two Pennsylvania defense contractors that were provided millions of dollars in federal funding by the late Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., then-chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

Here we come to save the day! What a joke.

Dennis Kelnhofer, Windham

I am writing to respond to the errors of a recent letter. The writer claims that conservatives failed over the years on the following four topics:

1. Slavery: This sin was abolished by Republican President Abraham Lincoln.

2. Subjugation of women: President George W. Bush freed millions of Iraqi women enslaved by fanatical Islam.

3 Persecution of gays: For one thing the word “gay” is a misnomer. Those who practice homosexuality are not actually always happy with this choice. And being opposed to same-sex marriage is not quite persecution.

4. Corporate greed: President Barack Hussein Obama totally supported, with the majority of Congress, the taxpayer-funded bailout of auto industry corporate officers.

Involvement in government is much more than appeasement and having that liberal warm fuzzy feeling that comes with saving polar bears.

Oh, and health care for those who cannot afford it should be funded by the wealthy from a luxury sales tax.

Jeffrey Schneider, Brunswick

News-sharing pact ends up with fewer jobs in news

I read with great interest the sans-byline article in the Press Herald extolling the virtues of the new news-sharing agreement between Maine Today Media and WGME-TV.

I have worked in public relations for more than 20 years and consider myself a student of the profession.

I love journalism as a profession and art form and bemoan its death by a thousand cuts as it plays out across the industry. It seems odd to this writer that news organizations such as MTM and WGME would call their efforts to limit the number of journalists within Maine a “win-win” relationship. There is no question that, just like the agreement to “pool” video collection between WGME and WPFO, this “win-win” is designed to reduce costs by putting journalists – whether with pen or camera – out of work.

I would note that this comes as WGME is trying to cut salaries by 10 percent despite a banner year in terms of revenue. I see only one “win” in that equation.

There is no question it is a tough fiscal environment for news organizations. However, reducing the rolls of working journalists in our state is not the way to increase reader/viewer/listener interest in your product, no matter how many platitudes you wrap around it.

That is what you are doing and you should just say so. We aren’t stupid, you know. Really. George Orwell may have coined the term “newspeak,” but rarely have I seen it practiced with such precision.

Gregory Howard,  Brunswick