Dan Harmon (guest opinion, Feb. 17) argues that legalization and taxation is not the solution to substance abuse because the "economic impact of alcohol abuse "¦ is eight times greater than the taxes we collect from alcohol sales." This argument ignores the vast savings we experience as legalization eliminates the costs of investigating, arresting, convicting and jailing alcohol users. If Harmon believes this impact of alcohol legalization, then he must be a proponent of alcohol prohibition as well.
Harmon also argues that Oregon needs a law allowing employers to fire "medical" marijuana patients, conveniently ignoring the fact that workplace accidents have actually declined since Oregon voters passed the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act a decade ago. His use of quotations around "medical" illustrates his bias, as that is a tactic used by Kevin Mannix and others who want to repeal OMMA altogether.
Harmon had an opportunity this legislative session to support a bill that would have allowed employers engaged in hazardous occupations to fire patients using any impairing drug. Instead, he helped scrap this bill in favor of a bill next session that only applies to medical marijuana and not more impairing drugs like Oxycontin, showing that his bias against medical marijuana trumps workplace safety. — Anthony Johnson, political director, Voter Power, Medford
An Associated Press article in the MT on Feb. 16 reports that the governor wants to hold up proposals for a liquefied natural gas terminal, "part of which would pass through northeastern Jackson County." I only hope I'm there to see part of the terminal careening through the county! — Grant Shepard, Medford
As coordinator for the local SHIBA Program (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance), I'm aware of tactics used by "scammers" to rob Medicare beneficiaries of their finances, health benefits and dignity.
My grandmother was recently telephoned by a man that claimed to be from Medicare. Just a friendly visit to her home to review her policy and let her know that she can change it by March 31 is all he wanted. Wrong! Medicare representatives never call beneficiaries to go over their policy information for review and they certainly do not make house calls. This man arrived at my grandmother's home, with a woman, and claimed to work from their home.
Some scammers use threats to get the information they need to access bank accounts and even draw from Medicare benefits. Never give out your Medicare ID number or financial information and never allow suspicious persons into your home. — Cristy D. Harms, Medford
In response to Russell Smith's letter Tuesday, I would suggest that rather than simply voting in the Democratic Party race, he get involved, enlist others to re-register and/or vote, and do whatever is necessary to make sure the superdelegates don't have the option of voting for us.
We can beat the system if all of us get more intimately involved. Who knows? Oregon may produce the clear-cut winner — but only with some real effort by everyone. — Ginny Terrell, Medford