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ENTREPRENEUR OF ADDICTION
The front cover for the Aug. 3 issue featured Chris Stone as an entrepreneur promoting alcohol, gambling, and now, cannabis ("Springfield's cannabis entrepreneur"). This is the description of an entrepreneur of addiction. The owners of alcohol, cannabis and gambling establishments profit off those who spend their hard-earned money on one or more of these potentially addictive products. When addiction takes over, it can lead to physical and mental health issues, loss of job, family and lifestyle. Treatment for addiction lasts a lifetime.
We are being lured and desensitized to believe that these products are harmless. However, routine and excessive use of cannabis, whether it is smoked or edible, has been proven to have many adverse health effects and lead to illnesses caused from second-hand smoke. Cannabis is especially harmful to teens whose brains are still developing.
Just like a carnival barker, Mr. Stone wants to convince everyone we should all get high on marijuana. He is quoted in the article: "Eight percent of the population uses cannabis regularly, so how do we get the other 92 percent?"
The promotion of alcohol, gambling and cannabis as harmless and acceptable activities sends a message to children and youth that encourages them to participate. Approximately 9% of those who use marijuana will become addicted. This increases to 17% if use begins as teens, and increases to 25-50% among daily users, according to Marijuana Facts for Teens, National Institute on Drug Abuse National Institutes of Health.
Due to the harm and cost to society, being an entrepreneur of alcohol, gambling and cannabis is not something to be celebrated, praised or supported.
So where are the Illinois Freedom Caucus and Fox News ("Youth swim coach under investigation," Aug. 10)? They were all over protecting teen swimmers from trans folks minding their own business.
THINK OF THE CHILDREN
I am so tired of people saying they care about "the children" ("Transgender turmoil," July 27). Be honest and say what you really mean. You care about a very specific group of children that fit the narrative and ideal you believe is right. You don't care about the children; you care about the good and proper children that fit into the mold you have cast in your mind. No matter how a child identifies, looks or feels, they deserve love and respect. You can't care about a child until they present themselves as something you don't like and then vilify them.
The people and politicians using children as their scapegoat for mainstreaming hatred should be ashamed of themselves. Especially when most of those people claim to be religious. How can someone who claims to have Jesus in their heart be so hateful, exclusionary and eager to be in the spotlight to get attention? Think of how much time and effort has been put into this ideology of hate, when you are talking about 1% of the population. If this much time, money and effort was put into helping people the world would be a much better place.
WHAT'S THE PLAN?
This proposed development falls in the transition zone area of the master plan the city has commissioned for future growth and development of the downtown and the medical districts ("More housing for the homeless," Aug. 3). What has been the progress on the plan since the public planning sessions that were held in March? Will our elected officials keep taking zoning actions willy-nilly without benefit of long-term planned objectives? Shouldn't zoning changes in this targeted area be delayed until the plan is finalized? Without a plan in place, how can they evaluate if this development serves or hurts overarching objectives? Will the aesthetics, construction quality and singular social/economic residency help or hinder further development in the area as envisioned by the plan?