MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Ask the right questions, and you won’t back it

Is medical marijuana really medicine? Has it been researched, tested, and deemed safe and reliable, meeting the standards we expect from medical professionals? Is there any other modern medicine that is “smoked?” Has the FDA approved smoking as a safe delivery system for any medicine? Is there a scientific method for consistent and safe dosing for marijuana?

Undoubtedly, the answer is “no” to all of these questions. Calling marijuana “medicine” is more than misleading when a study of medical-marijuana users found the average “patient” is a 32-year-old white male with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and no history of life-threatening disease.

Marijuana is addictive. Research shows that teens are six times more likely to be in treatment for marijuana addiction than for all other illegal drugs combined (source: National Institute on Drug Abuse). Marijuana use negatively affects the developing teen brain and is associated with mental-health problems. Weekly use of marijuana doubles a teen’s risk of depression and anxiety, and can lead to schizophrenia and suicide (NIDA, again). Marijuana use is associated with poor school performance (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

Our experience with our legalized drugs — alcohol and tobacco — provides a clear warning for keeping marijuana illegal. Alcohol kills 100,000 people annually. Tobacco kills another 500,000 people every year. Our two legal drugs are the biggest contributors to health care costs in this country. These drugs are pushed by big corporations with one thing in mind: to make money — and lots of it. Keep in mind that marijuana commercialization is the inevitable next step. I hope my public-health colleagues remember the myriad lies told by the tobacco industry until uncovered — and realize that Big Cannabis is a business proposition we can’t afford.

LEEANN MORTENSEN, Coon Rapids

 

PROPERTY VALUES

Homeowners deserve to have influence, too

Regarding “Property values, public good: Which trumps?” (Readers Writer, Feb. 21): As long as big corporations and the “1 percent” are allowed to influence political decisions by giving what they would consider minor monetary contributions that could save them millions or tens of millions of dollars, I think I should have the right to voice an opinion that could save me thousands or tens of thousands of dollars of property value.

DAVID BRANDT, Minnetonka

 

AIRPLANE NOISE

Takeoff route burden applies to us, too

Regarding “FAA pulls the plug on compromise takeoff plan” (Feb. 20): I live directly under one of the proposed “RNAV” routes, right next to three schools, two day cares and a huge Catholic church with a Spanish-speaking congregation. Our buildings are more than 100 years old and could never be modified to withstand the polluted freeway of jets overhead — 17 percent of departures from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The revolution of Edina and southwest Minneapolis property owners described in the story painted a very materialistic uprising. Kingfield, my middle-class and immigrant neighborhood, worked hard to defeat the poorly constructed navigation plan put forth by the Federal Aviation Administration. Give us a plan that doesn’t place the heaviest burden on a few.

DEAN AMUNDSON, Minneapolis

 

BODY IMAGE

Retailer isn’t helping cause for young women

I walked into a local Target store today, and to the right of me was the young women/teen department. Right up front on display were a multitude of colorful bikinis ready for spring. Attached in several spots were racks that held copies of the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition — featuring, on the cover, physically beautiful young women, tanned and half-naked (or more).

I am no prude. I also have a 22-year-old daughter. I was actually rather shocked to see the magazine there in the clothing department. I’ve seen it at the cash registers — but should it be where our daughters will pick out their summer attire? This is not the place for it. It sends the wrong message to our beautiful daughters. It’s wrong. I can’t say it more simply.

Apparently, its all about the dolla bill, baby — no different from any rap star raking in the bucks with his video vixens.

KRISTEN OBANNI, Bloomington

 

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

Burnsville district got things started

Thank you for the excellent article celebrating the 20th anniversary of the girls’ state hockey tournament (“20th tourney,” Feb. 19). The information prompted many memories of great games and more opportunities for our young women athletes.

There is a little more history that should have been recounted, however: The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District voted in 1993 to start the state’s first girls’ high school hockey program. As a result, seven or eight schools made the decision to join District 191 and put a team on the ice for the 1993-94 season.

The rest is history, and today we see robust hockey experiences for girls all across the state, culminating with a two-class state tournament as a result of that 1993 vote.

VICKI ROY, Burnsville