Readers Write: (Feb. 7): Addiction, marijuana, credit card security, caucuses, MNsure

  • Updated: February 6, 2014 - 6:38 PM

Avoiding addiction is all about good choices? That’s magical thinking.


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It doesn’t boil down to mere ‘choices’

I sincerely hope the mother whose letter was published Feb. 6 is successful in raising her four boys to never touch alcohol, drugs or tobacco (“No choice in addiction? I’m not buying it.”) Perhaps she has found the parenting technique that has failed the many good parents I have met whose children became addicts. This group includes teetotalers, pastors, child psychologists, evangelicals, doctors, single parents and healthy, two-parent families. They all taught their kids values and choices.

In our society, the number of people who escape adolescence without trying alcohol is minuscule. Of the rest, some won’t really like the feeling and will probably never become problem drinkers. Others will think it is fun and may abuse the chemical with bad results, but may not develop an addiction. For some, however, it will be a biochemically wonderful, life-changing experience, and they will crave repetition.

Addiction has been recognized as a disease since 1956. Science has shown both genetic and behavioral components. Anyone genetically predisposed to heart disease or Type 2 diabetes should not smoke and should eat well and exercise, yet we do not demonize those who make poor choices. Addicts make poor choices. Let’s drop the moral judgments and deal with addiction as a serious public-health issue.


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Addiction is not limited to taking a substance! We eat food to live; we procreate; we gamble for fun; we hoard — all can become an addiction. This is not a simple disease.




How it would be dispensed is critical

I agree that medical marijuana should be allowed in Minnesota. I have only a few stipulations: It must be ordered by a physician practicing in the state. It must be sold in registered pharmacies — absolutely no marijuana shops on Hennepin Avenue or anywhere else. How the supply of marijuana is obtained and distributed will be up to the state — no one else.

HAROLD OLSON, Minneapolis



Swipe fees are where issuers could help

Joe Witt, president and CEO of the Minnesota Bankers Association, makes the reasonable suggestion that retailers are key to stopping credit card fraud (Opinion Exchange, Feb. 3). He states: “If retailers had some financial responsibility for fraudulent electronic transactions, perhaps they may be more interested in detecting and stopping these crimes.”

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