Letters to the Editor Oct. 8, 2014

Trimmer Trash

For the downside of creating jobs for pot trimmers (“Spliff Shift” Sept. 24), see the article in the Kenwood Press (Sept. 15, 2014, Volume XXV, No. 16) reporting “Marijuana dump causes problems for fish, neighbors” about someone dumping trimmings into Sonoma Creek.

Santa Rosa

Confirmation Bias

Although I favor legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, I have strong reservations about legalization.

I’m nearing 60 years old and I have seen marijuana used lightly, responsibly and more often totally irresponsibly for recreational use, occasionally for creative enhancement and more often as an excuse to smoke quite a lot of marijuana with negligible creative results, and responsibly and with necessity for medical problems and without real necessity under the guise of medical problems.

I have also learned enough about statistics to know how easily and frequently they are manipulated.

I am one of the many women who have been raped by men who were high on marijuana at the time. I was 18 years old.

I empathize with Ms. Patterson (“Almost Legal,” Sept. 24), however I would like to see more research by a variety of sources to validate her claim that “cannabis makes for a less violent society.” Currently this smells strongly of confirmation bias.

Any drug, recreational or prescribed, can be misused. Balanced, honest education about all mind-altering drugs is extremely important and desperately needed. I also support extensive social programs to help people improve their lives (perhaps funded by a tax on marijuana sales) and free psychotherapy to help people learn to deal with their unresolved personal issues that can predispose them to addiction. I encourage all psychotherapists (and people in related professions) to donate a few hours per month to help heal our society.

Santa Rosa

In Praise of Jaco

You cannot pigeonhole a musician to one style of music (“Metal Movies,” Oct. 1). The musician might prefer a particular style, but can contribute to all styles. Jaco Pastorius could play anything. I really respected his work with Weather Report. Miss him, we will.

Via online

Beer and Bikes

In response to Ray Ward’s letter ‘Of Beer and Bikes’ in the October 1 issue, although you make a valid point regarding the role of automobile drivers in financing road construction and maintenance, your overall idea is misguided and wrong. You ask “where in the Bible or anywhere does it say bikers have priority and superiority?” Considering the Bible is a religious text written long before the invention of the automobile or the bicycle, I’m not sure why you’re referring to it as an authoritative text regarding transportation issues.

Automobile drivers fund road maintenance through a gasoline tax. Bicycles require only human power to operate. Your claim that the bicyclists’ safety is not “the responsibility of the motorist” may be true, but does it allow bicyclists to be treated as second-rate citizens or moving targets for your road rage?

Unfortunately, we live in a society dominated by the automobile. Our roads and infrastructure were developed due to the popularity of the automobile and the lobbying efforts of the auto and oil industries who sold us a world where billions of distracted drivers get behind the wheel of a lethal weapon that spews carbon dioxide, contributes to the obesity epidemic through sedentary lifestyles and causes massive amounts of wear and tear to infrastructure that lightweight and pollution-free bicycles do not cause.

As a bicyclist and taxpayer, I would gladly support public spending to develop more bike trails, bike lanes and efficient public transportation. Until then, it looks like we’ll have to “share the road.” Please don’t let your entitlement be the cause of a vehicular manslaughter charge.

Santa Rosa

Department of Corrections

In last week’s “Paycheck Predators” (Oct. 1) a reporting error misidentified the sponsor of 2011’s AB 1158, which would have increased the limits on individual payday loans. The sponsor of that bill was former state senator and assemblyman Charles Calderon, not current state assemblyman Ian Charles Calderon, D-Los Angeles, who is the former’s son. Because of that error, the story did not note that between 2003 and 2011, Charles Calderon received over $30,000 from the payday lending industry, according to online records available at maplight.org. The story instead highlighted Ian Calderon’s 2011-12 contributions from the industry, which totaled over $16,000. We regret the error.

Sonoma County Library