I am alarmed to hear that the state Legislature is considering changing the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. The idea that the program should only be for the terminally ill is totally inappropriate. There are many on the program who are not terminally ill, but still suffer from various conditions that interfere with quality of life.
Marijuana is effective in dealing with chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy and glaucoma, for example. Should our Legislature make value judgments about its citizens who suffer from these non-life-threatening illnesses?
The people of Oregon have spoken several times about their approval of the state Medical Marijuana Program. What makes the Legislature think that it should be interfering in medical care of Oregon's residents?
I support the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and would like to see the law left as it is. There are an awful lot of problems that the Legislature should address, but this is not one of them. — Theresa Waters, Medford
"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." Attributed to Joseph Stalin.
Those who wrote the Oregon Constitution chose certain government offices as separation of powers. Elected offices are those chosen to be separation of powers. This is to prevent tyrants from gaining complete control in government.
Jackson County commissioners want to change the county clerk and tax assessor to hired positions.
A vote to change elected offices to hired positions is foolhardy. Think about the influence an employer has over an employee. The county clerk is responsible for conducting elections and counting the vote. The power those who hire the county clerk will have over elections is tremendous. It is easier to influence or change the vote count through a hired employee than through an elected official. Permitting such authority is a step closer to tyrannical powers for those holding offices in government.
Some presently abuse the power they have been provided. Now they want even more power to make it easier to abuse the power already provided. That is one self-perpetuating power machine. — Randall Hale, Medford
With thanks to the original writer of the following joke, I'd like to offer it to explain the divide-and-conquer principle at work in our current economic situation: "There's a Wall Street banker, a union guy, and a tea party guy sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with 12 cookies. The Wall Street guy reaches over and grabs 11 cookies, leans over and tells the tea party guy, "Watch out for the union guy, he's going to steal your cookie."
Here's some variations you can use: For the Wall Street banker, you can plug in the multi-multi-billionaire Koch brothers, for the union guy you can plug in a public employee, and for the tea party guy, you can plug in just about anyone you want, including yourself. — Ramie Streng, Ashland
A very big thank you to all the volunteers who were able to join us for our spring cleanup of the cemetery grounds on Saturday, March 19. Members of the Boosters and Rotary Clubs, the Masonic Lodge, the community and Friends of Jacksonville's Historic Cemetery hit the ground running and managed to fill close to 300 bags with debris. Your efforts and hard work will surely be appreciated by the families and visitors to the Jacksonville Cemetery.
A special thank you to the Masons for not only helping with the cleanup, but for hosting and serving a hot lunch to all our volunteers following the cleanup. It was appreciated and enjoyed by all. — Dirk J. Siedlecki, president, Friends of Jacksonville's Historic Cemetery
I would encourage conservative and progressive voters to give the Oregon State Bank concept a good, long look. Some folks may be tempted to wave it off as another layer of government, but that's not what it is.
The for-profit state bank, modeled after North Dakota's, is a cost-effective way to give taxpayers a break. It doesn't take deposits from citizens. It takes the general fund monies that the state uses throughout the year to pay its bills and invests them by making loan money available to local, community banks for prudent loans to small businesses within the state. The many millions in interest they make goes back into the general fund.
The State Bank of North Dakota didn't need a bailout. It didn't participate in the Wall Street chicanery that nearly brought our country to its knees.
Right now, those general fund monies are invested with those same Wall Street Banks that created our financial problems, then perpetuated them by hoarding taxpayers' bailout money, letting thousands of small businesses suffer and die along with the jobs they provided.
Creating an Oregon State Bank is a no-nonsense way to keep taxes lower and help small businesses create jobs. — Buck Eichler, Medford
I understand the Jackson County Commissioners are placing a measure on the May election ballot to take away our right to vote for the county clerk, surveyor and assessor. Their reason being that we the voters are not sharp enough to vote for a qualified candidate and they want to streamline government.
The three commissioners represented themselves as a voice for conservative voters and consequently were elected by conservative voters to represent us and protect our rights. Voters are fooled and do make mistakes, but we get to correct those mistakes on the very next election. Had these commissioners been appointed to their positions, we would have to put up with them until they chose to retire.
Participation in our government is assured by our vote. Don't these people have kids and grandchildren who will lose freedoms that they have enjoyed? Or perhaps they have joined the Obama administration to make our choices because it is best for us and take away our freedoms to help us.
It does amaze me that with all the critical issues in our county, taking away our vote would come to the top of their agenda. — Jessie Carte, Gold Hill
How many ways and times do we need to say no to this $22 million-plus boondoggle? Rather, why not repair, improve and maintain the existing facilities?.
The reported current condition of the facility would indicate many years of deferred maintenance, a favorite "cost saving" measure that would surely be employed at a new facility, too. We don't want a new facility that will not only never pay for its expensive self but will be an even bigger and constant maintenance drain on an already stretched budget.
So, we can spend several hundred thousand dollars to repair and improve the current facilities or many millions for a new facility that most of the current users will then no longer be able to afford admission to. That money would be much better spent as an investment in our future by going toward keeping fine arts and athletics in our schools.
Medford doesn't need another water park. Those who want and can afford that type of entertainment can drive to Emigrant Lake or other regional venues. Then again, anyone in the Rogue Valley who cannot find a place to swim, splash and/or otherwise enjoy an aquatic experience probably isn't looking very hard. — Joe Lee, Medford
Whatever one's party leaning, for the next presidential election, apart from our incumbent leader, there seems to be no obviously compelling candidate.
In this situation I have become increasingly impressed by the sagacity and efficiency as well as the moral tone and spirit of Gen. David Petraeus. His capacities clearly transcend by far the military expertise for which he is already renowned.
We have a tradition in America, not always completely happy to be sure, of turning to our wartime heroes. But I can think of none of the previous ones with a Princeton doctorate or the reflective eloquence of Gen. Petraeus. 2012 may be too soon to think of dispensing with his present role in the field, but hopefully by 2016 he will have fully emerged as the national figure he seems so well endowed to be. — Andrew Foster, Ashland