CARS HOMES JOBS

Op-ed tirade against marijuana was full of contradictions

Monday, January 6, 2014
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Op-ed tirade against marijuana was full of contradictions

Re Ben Barber’s Dec. 29 op-ed blaming pot for “harming mental development”: This concerns the latest attempt to scare people out of legalizing marijuana by using one person’s experience as a standard to measure marijuana’s effect on everyone.

I was first introduced to pot in college, not exactly a place for those with no initiative. (If you need some examples of pot-smoking college students, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama come to mind.)

My point is, pre-existing conditions determine success and failure in life much more reliably than marijuana use.

For example, I lost 27 IQ points at the hands of my Catholic educators before I got to high school, years before I ever tried pot, but when I brought this to their attention, their response was “the (IQ) test correlated to a high degree with the readings skills of the student.”

If anything, my use of pot helps alleviate the effects of post traumatic stress disorder which caused the IQ loss in the first place. I’ll bet the IQ losses Mr. Barber notes in his article were not caused by the pot, but rather circumstances which led to the pot-smoking as an attempt to cope with pre-existing stress.

But maybe pot did fry Mr. barber’s brain — he considers pot “addictive” when it serves his argument, yet two paragraphs later, he was able to “swear off weed” with no ill effects. Perhaps a heroin junkie or meth freak could better demonstrate to Mr. Barber what an “addiction” really is (not to mention the thousands of nicotine addicts who smoke themselves to death every year).

Pot is a relatively harmless way to cope with the stress inflicted upon those of us not fortunate enough to be able to “live in one of the best communes in northern California” and “travel to India and North Africa and the Middle East,” then complete college and have a “career” searching for truth in India, Nepal and Pakistan.

Instead of a cogent statement of facts, his tirade is an attempt to use scare tactics to prevent people from using a substance he himself used with no ill effects.

Does he think others are unable to do as he did? If pot didn’t destroy his initiative, why does he think others will be unable to follow his lead?

John Dillon

Cobleskill

Writer right about lack of handicapped parking

I am in total agreement with Graham Higgins’ Jan. 1 letter about more parking being needed for the handicapped in downtown Schenectady.

I would like to attend many shows at Proctors but am unable because the lack of parking.

Why can’t the city turn the 74 parking spots on State Street near venues such as Proctors and restaurants to all-handicapped after 5 p.m.? The police should monitor this area and ticket accordingly. Give us people with disabilities a chance to enjoy what downtown Schenectady has to offer.

F.M. Griffin

Niskayuna

Did Obama write that book, or didn’t he?

Do you remember the book Obama authored, for which he received literary accolades when he began his political career? It played a significant role in the 2008 presidential elections. Now it’s haunting him.

A “ghost” from Obama’s past is apparently looking for some glory and credit(s) for potentially making Obama the 2008 presidential [winner]. It’s the “ghost” writer claiming to have authored Obama’s book, “Dreams From My Father.”

Remember Bill Ayers? He is the reformed terrorist in whose home Obama launched his political career. The American media dismissed the significance of that relationship and classified Ayers a casual business acquaintance. It would appear he was much more.

As long ago as October 2009, Ayers claimed he authored “Dreams From My Father” in an interview at Reagan National Airport. He did so again in March 2011, at Montclair State University, in a Q&A session after a speech. [This according to] the Nov. 27 Investor’s Business Daily.

I suspect this has been preserved for mention during the 2014 Republican congressional campaigns. Democrat strategists would be well advised to address Ayers’ accusations now, well before the Republicans do.

Wallace J. Hughes

Charlton

 
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comments

January 6, 2014
7:39 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Obama is the biggest fraud ever perpetuated on the American public.

January 6, 2014
8:02 a.m.
Will1960 says...

Ben Barber's hatchet job on marijuana was an example of anecdote journalism at its worse. I was surprised the Gazette would even publish such a shoddy piece. We don't or we shouldn't make policies based on one person's personal experience. That's why we study issues to get a broad knowledge to base our policies on. Another annoying aspect of Ben Barber's tirade was that he advocates resisting legalization without delving into some the problems prohibition of pot that have lead to this change. Also he wants a policy for everyone to follow based on his experience. The Gazette could have found a more reasoned, intelligent writer to argue against legalization. I hope next week's opinion section, the Gazette publishes a counterpoint to Ben Barber's flawed op-ed.

January 7, 2014
9:51 p.m.
jjhehir says...

I think marijuana should be legalized nationally. It's the only thing that will get us through the post traumatic stress associated with the Affordable Care Act.

January 9, 2014
7:13 p.m.
Phils2008 says...

jjhehir, that was probably the most cogent argument I've heard for legalization. Would it also help me get through the remaining miserable years left on this idiots presidency?

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