POT SMOKERS GET SLEEPY
In response to Sheldon Richman’s column [“When will Obama evolve on the drug war?” GUESTWORK, May 24], I agree. Marijuana should be legalized. In the late ’80s I worked as a correctional officer in a men’s work release facility. Most of the inmates were 18-35, serving the last few years of their felony sentences. Many were doing time for possession, or sales of marijuana. They had been given sentences of 6-10 years. They now have felony offenses on their records, which they will carry for the rest of their lives.
Yet, I often read in the paper where someone gets convicted of manslaughter and only gets 2-4 years. If you kill someone, whether you run them over while drunk, shoot them, stab them etc. should you not get at least 20 years? Or more, depending on the situation? Alcohol causes far more crime, and more damage to the person and to society. Pot smokers don’t go out and start fights. They get the munchies, and get sleepy.
CHESAPEAKE & ILLINOIS
Illinois communities have been dealing with the effects of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) for years, as have other rural areas across the country [see “Manure rules,” by Neil Schneider, May 31]. The Clean Water Funding Fairness Act is a step in the right direction, but better regulations are needed at the federal level, too. One such rule is expected from the EPA, which would serve as an important model for protecting our lakes, rivers and streams from CAFO pollution. The rule would address pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, one of the nation’s treasures, and would set a precedent for addressing the pollution threat these often-massive operations pose to waterways close to home. Those of us who love fishing, swimming, and boating right here in Illinois should stand up and take notice of this federal rule. I hope the EPA proposes a strong rule because it will serve as a model for what can be done in other areas of the country like ours. And if we want to ensure protections here in the future, we must take notice and support efforts to establish a strong CAFO rule in the Chesapeake.
Hmmm...Karen Lynne Deal’s replacement says that “music can unite a community” [see “Meet the maestro,” by Scott Faingold, May 31]. I guess that’s why he made sure in his contract that he would spend as little time as possible in Springfield. Karen was not perfect but she was part of the community and involved with outreach programs that brought the joy of music to others. And now, we have a hired gun who does his thing and leaves. This is an improvement???
David P. Graf
SAVE GRIFFIN WOODS
I agree with the many other letter writers who have expressed dismay at the proposal to raze Griffin Woods in order to develop yet another grocery store. Springfield’s west side is awash in commercial development, but seriously lacking in green space. Griffin Woods provides a much-needed natural habitat for wildlife and controls stormwater runoff, a continual problem in Springfield. Long after business in the area has come and gone, the habitat of Griffin Woods, if lost now, can never be replaced. The decision on how to advance now rests with the city council and the park district. If the area must be developed, perhaps a compromise could be struck with the developer in which a portion of the land could be donated to the park district. I encourage others who are opposed to this use of the property to attend the city council meeting on June 19 at 5:30 p.m. and stand up in favor of a plan that allows at least some of Griffin Woods to remain in its natural, undisturbed state.