Embrace legalization, taxation of weed

It seems as though the cannabis vote by the Lompoc City Council on Nov. 7 has put some of my fellow Lompocans noses out of joint.

A letter to the editor even suggested that some of our council members are actually domestic enemies of our Constitution. But what about the 10th Amendment?

The State of California’s vote to make cannabis legal is a big, beautiful example of states’ rights at its finest. It is a shining example of Federalism and an embrace of the free market. A majority of California voters voted to make recreational marijuana legal. The people who don’t want recreational marijuana lost. The people spoke.

And if you don’t like taxes, this is great for you because if you don’t purchase marijuana, then you’ll never have to pay the tax and you’ll still enjoy the benefits from the tax revenue. Since we seem (or at least some on the city council seem) reticent to raise taxes the ordinary way, this will be a great way to raise the revenue this city sorely needs. If enough people go into shops and purchase legal weed, maybe we can tear up Jim Mosby’s ‘list of doom’ for good. Smoke a joint, save a park.

I appreciate the concern by some church groups about where the future recreational marijuana stores may be sited. How about using the same ordinance for siting liquor stores? And those concerned that soon there will be a pot shop on every corner will find that free market principles will determine how many shops will ultimately succeed.

Lompoc may have started as a temperance colony but it’s high time we thoughtfully embrace the legalization and taxation of weed.

Leah Braitman


The right to dissent

A recent guest commentary incorrectly posits that we are obligated to stand during our national anthem to pay homage to “the courage and sacrifice of our veterans.”

While few would dispute the commitment of such fine men and women, if the writer would take off his red-white-and-blue-colored glasses he might view the reality that our nation was actually founded on principles of dissent.

Citizens who choose to kneel during the anthem are living testimony to the heritage and tradition of our country, a lineage that sets us apart from most of the rest of the world.

I recently watched a video lecture apparently given at a college campus. The speaker simply asked her almost totally-white audience, “How many of you would trade places with a black person?” Not surprisingly, no one raised their hand.

Instead of condemning fellow citizens for expressing their constitutionally-given rights, those sharing the views of the commentary’s author might consider their own blessings and view the issues at hand that led to these non-violent expressions with compassion and a greater wish to understand the experiences that led to their necessity.

Barry J. Marks


Give turkeys a big break

President Trump is getting his pardon pen ready, as the special counsel’s investigation starts indicting his associates. He plans to practice on two very innocent Minnesota turkeys.

The other 244 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year have not been so lucky. They were raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. Their beaks and toes were clipped to prevent stress-induced aggression. At 16 weeks of age, slaughterhouse workers cut their throats and dump them in boiling water to remove their feathers.

Consumers pay a heavy price, too. Turkey flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats that elevate risk of chronic, killer diseases. Intense, prolonged cooking is required to destroy deadly pathogens lurking inside.

Now, for the good news — per-capita consumption of turkeys is down by a whopping 34 percent from a 1996 high of 303 million, as a third of our population is actively reducing meat consumption. Our supermarkets carry a rich variety of convenient, delicious, healthful, plant-based meat products, including several oven-ready roasts.

This Thanksgiving holiday, as we give thanks for life and good fortune, let's also skip the gratuitous violence and grant our own pardon to an innocent animal.

Sedrick Mackenzie

Santa Maria 


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