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Sunday, Nov 23, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: History and the filibuster

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History and the filibuster

As an educated American who has read the Constitution, I am appalled when reading a letter such as the one from Keith A. Poot of Dade City (“It’s all about liberty,” Letter of the Day, Nov. 30) in which he asserts that there is a constitutional basis for the filibuster emanating from the Founding Fathers.

The filibuster dates to the 1850s and was a divisive tactic to block legislation that the minority did not “like.” In 1917, the Senate adopted Rule 22, which provided that Senate debate (a filibuster) could be ended with a two-thirds vote; that vote was called cloture. However, in 1975 the Senate modified Rule 22 to allow cloture to be accomplished by only a three-fifths vote of the membership (60 senators became the benchmark). In this congressional session, cloture was modified to be accomplished by a simple majority of senators voting; 51 senators could bring cloture.

Whether one likes the filibuster or not, neither the filibuster nor the ending of one by cloture has any history in the Constitution or with the Founding Fathers. Or, for that matter, our individual freedoms and liberty.

Thank god for the Constitution. Every citizen should read the Constitution and all 27 Amendments.

Edward R. Coursey

Tampa

A war on people

The letters you published regarding medical marijuana on Dec. 1 are inaccurate. As a former narcotics detective, and a spokesman for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a police group that advocates the regulation of drugs in the same manner in which we regulate beer and tobacco, I can tell you categorically that marijuana is neither addictive nor a gateway drug. You want a real gateway “drug?” It is a government that feels it knows what’s best for its citizens, without regard to their freedom of choice.

Alcohol is far more addictive and detrimental to society than marijuana. In 33 years as a police officer, I never responded to a domestic disturbance where someone “high” on pot beat up their families, but I’ve responded to hundreds of incidents where drunks have. Tobacco? People who smoke cigarettes not only harm their own lungs, and the lungs of others with their second-hand smoke, but they also stink. Drunks’ and smokers’ indulgences are far worse for society than weed.

Eight hundred thousand people who are otherwise minding their own business get busted for pot each year, and I submit to you that society’s response to marijuana is far more harmful to society than marijuana. Wake up, people. The war on drugs is not real. It is really a war on people.

Richard Craig

Dunedin

The real drug issue

Regarding “Pot not medicine” (Your Views, Dec. 1):

For someone who claims to be an expert on drug problems, Calvina Fay’s letter sounds like nothing more than an advertisement for the pharmaceutical industry.

Her first error was to state there are no other forms of marijuana other than the street version. If Fay were truly educated on drug research, she would learn that there are several experiments that are altering the cannabis plant to remove all traces of THC, the chemical that gets you “high.” She then incorrectly states that marijuana causes mental disorders. Is she a research scientist? How can her lack of scientific and psychological knowledge be sure that the drug use came first, instead of the drug use being a manifestation of a particular disorder? If she’d actually bother to read the full study reports and not just the sound bites from mainstream media outlets, maybe she wouldn’t make such erroneous statements.

Fay then informs us that all the pesticides, fertilizers and fungi found on and in cannabis are hardly healthy for the human body. Really? Then why do all the fruits and vegetables we eat also contain the same items? What about all the poisons the tobacco industry artificially adds to their products? Are the multitude of lives tobacco has taken and the trillions in health care costs somehow less important because the product is legal? How about the ruined families and added health-care costs due to alcohol abuse? Do they not matter?

With all due respect, the laws making marijuana illegal while tobacco remains legal has the same competency and legitimacy as making oranges legal while tangerines illegal. It lacks all common sense and scientific integrity. Maybe Fay is just naive and really doesn’t understand the true drug issue in America. It’s not about lives ruined or health care costs or effects on children. It’s all about lobby money, tax revenue and if it stimulates the economy.

Jesse Juliano

Tampa

Headline misleading

The title of the article “Most veterans don’t need exchange” on the front page of the Dec. 2 Tribune is very misleading. Many veterans do need the exchange. The vast majority of veterans without a service-connected disability who did not retire from the military or serve overseas are not eligible for VA benefits.

In addition, many veterans are subject to maximum income limits that can block VA coverage.

Stuart Walsky

Seminole

Illegal immigration

The only way to stop illegal immigration is to place a fine of $20,000 per illegal immigrant on any company or person hiring an illegal immigrant and cut off all government help to illegals or their families.

Case solved.

Albert Ash

Land O’ Lakes

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