Letters to the editor

Teens need good information about marijuana

I was sorry to see the letter from Dr. Marc Galanter published in the Dear Abby column regarding marijuana and teens (Feb. 15).

Dr. Galanter is the director of a Drug Abuse Center that makes money when people are referred for treatment.

These types of centers get an overwhelming number of marijuana referrals since completion of a treatment program is usually the price for getting back into school or keeping a job.

The treatment community has an economic interest in continuing to demonize the least harmful of our currently legal and illegal drugs.

While no one thinks teenage use of a mind-altering substance is wise, the reality is that many teens will experiment with drugs.

It is important to provide science-based information, rather than the misinformation found on the DEA-funded websites cited.

Fact-based sources like 'Safety First, a Reality-based Approach to Teens, Drugs, and Drug Education" ( lt;http:www.safety1st.org/gt;), which has been adopted by many school districts and parent organizations, gives teens the information they need to make wise choices and avoid the tragedy of substance abuse.

Claudia Little, RN, MPH

Common folk should have

larger voice

The western world has gone utterly mad, forgetting reason and history to follow the new fangled fad of giving every animal in the jungle equality. The gorilla-like man who's never read a book has the same say as the learned scholar; the foolish woman who has her children forsook marks the same ballot as a devoted mother.

Remembering the myriad crimes of tyrants, so many embrace the opposite madness, escaping from eons of withering heat to chatter in a freezing, modern abyss. For as every American child knows, no-one applies themselves when no profit or distinction follows, the same meal given to giants and elves.

But this applies not just to communism (which was mostly veneer) but far more in lands like here where the barbaric dollar is king and from every hillside commercials ring. Do the poor benefit from absolute democracy? The rich control their votes like puppets on strings, playing to their ignorance with theatrichypocrisy.

But never think I advocate a return to rule by an aristocratic few, a forsaking of liberal progress to return to the worldview of some draconian date. No, the common folk should have a say; every street-sweeper should some vote enjoy, but tomorrow will be worse than today if the reins of power continue to beeveryman's toy.

Sean Lawlor Nelson

Freedom of ideas has hit a wall

This will be the last I'll write in the paper. After the dedicated and great local editor, John Enders resigned in protest over the lack of support by the Medford Tribune years ago, some of my columns and opinions have either been changed before printing or "lost."

I recently wrote a protest letter about the business practices of Charter Communications addressing it to local owner Paul Allen. The Tidings offered all kinds of lofty journalistic reasons if could not be published. The long and short of it is that we no longer have a paper that reflects what is really happening here.

This is a tragedy because we are an exceptional town full of bright individuals who like to be informed and think for ourselves. To make a town you have to have a church, a saloon, a school, and if you are very lucky, a theatre. But it will never be a community without a real local newspaper. That's where the Opinion Page comes in and most of the good reading flourishes.

It is too bad, circulation would boom if this paper reflected Ashland as the exciting and eventful place of highly educated readers. But we'd have to have an owner or editor who had the courage to print this letter.

The Alpha and Omega of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the local paper. You're certainly not going to get anything but murder, crime, and car accidents on local TV. It's not about freedom of speech versus liability; it's about the freedom of ideas versus a lawsuit. Unfortunately, we can't read all about it.

Leah Ireland

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