In an article outlining the pros and cons of impeachment (“Dems consider the fallout of impeachment,” June 18), the important political implications of such an action are discussed. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is cautious because she is concerned about what it would do to the Democrats’ chances in 2020.
My response to this is that we elected you to govern now; we did not elect you to run for office in 2020. We have a president who does not care about our Constitution, and it is your job to uphold it. In fact, you swore to uphold it when you were elected. Nowhere in the oath of office did you swear to “win the next election.” That’s not what the people of this country elected you to do. We elected you to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, and if you do not impeach this president, you are not doing your job.
It’s plain and simple; do your job or you do not deserve to be re-elected.
Jim Cotner, St. Paul
U OF M WRESTLERS
‘High’ public interest does not justify naming still-innocent men
When I saw the words “Dirt Devil” in Steve Sack’s June 19 cartoon, my first thought was that he was referring to the Star Tribune’s front page articles naming an accused sexual criminal even though he hasn’t been charged (“Wrestlers released without charges,” June 19). Where are the paper’s journalistic standards? The muckraking explanation that you name uncharged accused if there is “high public interest” is pathetic. If there is “high public interest,” it’s because you created it.
Stan Weese, Brooklyn Park
• • •
The story about the two University of Minnesota wrestlers who were held and then released should have included from the start the Star Tribune’s justification for publicly identifying them before their being charged. An arrest is not a conviction, nor even a formal charge — except in the court of public opinion and for the rest of their lives on Google. Let’s say this person’s allegation is withdrawn, or found to be lacking enough credibility to support formal charges? What next? What was so different about this case that it justified this deviation from the paper’s standard policy?
Dave Porter, Minneapolis
• • •
The two U wrestlers have now been released from the Hennepin County jail without charges. This raises the question: Why were they jailed in the first place? They don’t seem to pose any risk of flight, so the police and prosecutors could have just worked on the case without holding them. And how many other suspects are jailed unnecessarily? Presumption of innocence should include avoiding unnecessary cost and loss of reputation until the authorities have adequate evidence to charge.
David Sommer, Minneapolis
Hey, Iran — try flattery this time
Dear Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei,
I am very concerned about the tensions between our countries and know it is crucial we prevent a military conflict. I have thought about this quite a bit and believe I have a strategy pretty much guaranteed to avoid a conflict: You need to flatter President Donald Trump. I can only imagine how difficult that would be, but it is in the best interest of your people. If you lay it on pretty thick, you may actually end up in a love relationship — just ask you-know-who.
Pat Hinderscheid, Mendota Heights
Legalization shouldn’t be inevitable
As many state legislatures are wrapping up their sessions, the idea that legalizing marijuana is inevitable seems to have hit a snag. Only Illinois passed legislation legalizing commercial marijuana while many states put on the brakes, including Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and Minnesota. At Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota, we have been advocating a “go slow” approach, and we continue to ask the Legislature to review the data from the states that have commercialized. One such report has just been released by the national SAM group.
Here are some key findings from that report in states since legalization:
• In 2018, use of vaping marijuana by eighth and 10th graders has increased 63% over 2017.
• In Washington, D.C., arrests for distribution and public consumption tripled with 89% of arrests being African Americans.
• Adolescent use in legal states (9.1%) continues to lead nonlegal states (6.5%).
• In Colorado, calls to Poison Control more than doubled, with calls for children 0-8 increasing 230%.
• In Washington state, daytime drivers testing positive for THC tripled from 8% to 23%.
• The rate for positive tests in the workplace for marijuana in Colorado was 11%, well above the national rate of 4%.
• Black-market activity outpaces demand with Oregon producing five to 10 times more marijuana than they can sell, and California growing 15.5 million pounds but only selling 2.5 million.
Minnesotans do not need to assume that legalization of cannabis for commercial sales is inevitable. We strongly recommend that our state pay attention to what other states are learning about the social and health impacts when legalization occurs.
Judson Bemis, Minneapolis
The writer is chair of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota.
STATE FAIR FOOD
A salute to a yearly stomachache
Gotta feel sorry for Star Tribune restaurant critic Rick Nelson, who will be sampling all the new foods for his annual best-of-the-new-stuff column after the first day of the State Fair (“Introducing new fare at the fair,” June 19). He deserves some sort of award or recognition — maybe the first day of the fair should henceforth be known as “Ol’ Iron Gut Rick Nelson Day.”
Martin Schoen, St. Paul
• • •
This might be heresy, but here goes: I’d sample a lot more food items at the State Fair if vendors sold smaller, appetizer-sized servings in addition to a regular size. I’m a small person. After visiting one or two food booths, I’m done.
Tammy Hoganson, Minneapolis
• • •
It’s fun to read about the new foods that will be at the State Fair, but it’s also an opportunity to think about unnecessary waste. Kudos to the vendors who are embracing the traditional and eco-friendly method of food delivery — the biodegradable wood stick (like two of the new vendors, selling “Deep-Fried Dilly Dogs” and fried tacos).
But what is up with the “Wingwalker Donut Flight” that comes with three plastic syringes so people can inject the fillings themselves? I realize that the State Fair has recycling containers and works to reduce waste — but the reality is even with recycling, plastics keep washing into the ocean and ending up harming aquatic life. Perhaps, in the future, the amount of plastic waste an item generates will be taken into account when deciding whether to allow it into the fair.
Julie A. Risser, Edina
Want to share your thoughts with us? Submit a letter to the editor or commentary here.