Eric Rechel
via the Internet

Light Makes Right

Regarding Jonathan Shikes's "Get a Job!" in the January 27 issue:

I think it is important to keep the "light guv" position an elected one. Governors and candidates for the position should not be allowed to pick and choose their number twos. By having the position an elected one, it can only serve to complement the governor's role. I would not want a "yes man" or "yes woman" in the position, and you are less likely to have this happen if the position is an elected one. Debate over a difference of opinion can shed light and open the door to an open-minded governor. The lieutenant governor could be a wonderful sounding board for a governor.

I do agree that it is not appropriate for lieutenant governors to "air dirty laundry" in the media. However, there are occasions when it would be appropriate to bring a disagreement to a public venue. That is the beauty of a democracy.

In both business and politics, it is vital to have a person who is in a role to hold a co-worker, superior or elected official accountable. If the governor could easily fire someone for a difference of opinion, a lieutenant governor would not be as likely to voice his or her opinion. This would be a great disservice to the governor's office.

Jeremy Jankovich
via the Internet

The Seeds of Discontent

I read with interest Marty Jones's "Hemp Takes a Hit," in the January 27 issue: What the DEA agent failed to mention was that every time someone tries to pass a law regarding industrial hemp, the DEA will fire its volley of half-truths and outright lies and scare the lawmakers into not passing such a law.

If the DEA had been around during the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (which were printed on hemp paper) would have been seized by them as contraband.

The law needs to change, and the politicians need to realize that the law needs changing. Economically speaking, many small businesses and family farmers would benefit from legal industrial hemp. The only people who would be unhappy with industrial hemp would be the DEA and other hypocrisy-mongers. Vote for industrial hemp!

Jeri D. Shepherd

As an American, I find it embarrassing that drug-war hysteria has led to a ban on sterilized hemp seed from Canada. Do the "experts" really believe that kids are getting high off the seeds? I realize that people like drug czar Barry McCaffrey are completely out of touch with the drug culture. After all, he is paid to believe and repeat all the reefer-madness lies. While he may not be able to recognize the parallels between the USA's disastrous experiment with alcohol prohibition and the failed drug war, I cannot believe that he is clueless enough to think that people are getting high off hemp seeds. Even seeds from potent marijuana will not get a person high. Sterilized industrial hemp seeds are equally useless for purposes of intoxication.

It is obvious to me that the USA is trying to sabotage Canada's profitable hemp industry. Support for industrial hemp is growing among struggling American farmers, in large part due to claims of Canadian hemp profits. By destroying the livelihoods of Canadian hemp farmers, American drug warriors are hoping to kill domestic interest in industrial hemp. I'm thoroughly disgusted with the insane drug war that America forces upon the world. The McCaffreyism has gone too far.

Robert Sharpe
Washington, D.C.

I am very sympathetic to the plight of industrial hemp growers and those using the by-products of this wonderful plant. Our DEA is acting in typical drug-warrior style by irrationally banning sterile hemp seeds, a product accepted at our borders without dispute until quite recently. No rationale has been offered, and none will be. Our drug war is simply flexing its muscle, seeing who else it can destroy in this insane exercise of power.

What is most telling about the entire situation is that no official is willing to stand up and defend these practices in public. Eventually, enough voters will understand how this fraud perpetuates itself, and the tide will turn. All those who support the drug war do so out of greed or ignorance, for every informed person knows how counterproductive our current policies are.

Danny Terwey
Santa Cruz, California

I fully realize that the hemp industry may not be advocates of drugs, and I completely acknowledge and respect that. The purpose of my message is to point out that the enemies of hemp reform and the enemies of cannabis reform are the same, and the "me no marijuana" position means less than nothing to them. It is because I have the greatest respect for the hemp movement and a greater resolve to further the cause of both of our movements that I send my message to you.

We share common enemies. They are many, and some are well-concealed. Their motives are among the most evil and sinister imaginable. Sensible alternatives are not an option to them. Not only do they not give a tinker's damn about hemp, but they think nothing of letting thousands of sick and dying people linger in pain and misery or incarcerating 700,000 people per year -- mostly for simple possession -- while they lie, cheat and steal in order to maintain the propaganda and profits of prohibition. They care nothing about environmental benefits or groundwater pollution or THC content, much less about suffering and death. The alternative to prohibition -- legalization -- will not be as profitable to them as the present corruption-, bribery- and forfeiture-ridden policies are. And that includes hemp...like it or not.

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