Letters 4-26-13


Marijuana

There’s no basis

for legalizing it

During the past couple years there has been a rather heated debate as to whether the state should legalize the public use, sale and production of marijuana. From a legal standpoint, marijuana is considered by the federal government to be a “schedule 1 substance.” There are five different classifications or “schedules” of drugs in the United States. In order to be placed as a Schedule 1 drug the drug must meet three separate criteria. (1) “The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.” (2) “The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” (3) “There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.” (This information was taken from the Cornell University Law School law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/812.)

I have written this letter to show there is currently no basis for the implementation of a state law that gives the public easy access to marijuana. My point is state law cannot supersede federal law.

The FDA has not found the so-called benefits of marijuana outweigh the harm it can cause. Many people have passed around the rumor that marijuana is not addictive and is not physically harmful; some even claim that it improves their lives. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the nation’s medical research agency) these claims are ill-founded (drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana).

William Midgley

Ocean View

Highway changes

How many accidents must happen?

If you haven’t noticed the plethora of car accidents at the Honokohau Harbor and Queen Kaahumanu Highway intersection during the last week, you probably don’t drive the road. I know of four. Here’s how it’s done:

First, let’s arbitrarily change the southbound exit lane coming up to Kealakehe Parkway (harbor exit as per signage) and make it a through lane also. No notice in the paper, no increased warning signs or cautions, let’s just surprise folks. We’ll put a small yield sign on the highway entrance lane that comes out of Honokohau going south and see what happens.

Well, after week one — surprise — there are two accidents. OK, I guess we’ll put a bigger temporary solar sign that tells people to yield on the entrance. Oops. We forgot to let the northbound traffic turning left into the harbor know that it was a through lane now. Net result? Two more accidents and a traffic light demolished.

Maybe the state should have let the public know prior to painting the road with straight through arrows that it was going to make the change.

In other states and countries, municipalities use a starburst sign, or a blinking light prior to instituting a roadway change of this magnitude and give the traffic a chance to notice prior to such changes.Better yet, remove the straight through arrows and start over.

Fortunately, no motorists or cyclists (changed that lane, too) have been killed. Let your ohana know.

Eric McCormick

Kailua-Kona