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Letters to the Editor, March 11

No skunk smell, please

In response to R.L. Tokareff's Feb. 25 letter to the editor:

OMG! Have you ever lived next-door to a pot farm? Maybe using pot all the time doesn't bother you, but when I can't open my windows at night to get fresh air, or am unable to cool down the house in the summertime, then I'm not a happy camper.

I don't think Mr. Kanner has his "feathers messed up" any more than mine or anyone else who lives next door to a pot farm. When you have to smell "skunk" 24 hours a day, it makes you sick to your stomach.

The majority of voters, including myself, may have voted to legalize marijuana, but not so as to let the very small loudmouth minority of growers ruin a beautiful town with the smell of skunk all summer.

Another thing, if you are going to grow pot, it should not be in city limits, and maybe growers should apply for a license. If it's grown indoors, the individual should be charged for the extra electricity they're using, not the whole community.

As far as medical uses go, there are legitimate illnesses it can be used to treat, but there are people who abuse its use.

As for young people using pot, it has been proven that it stunts growth of the brain and often retards emotional development.

M.D. Reaves, Ashland

Just the beginning

The FCC's decision to support what is called "net neutrality" is very good news. What I do not think is well understood is that this amounts to a skirmish in a much larger battle having to do with turning back or preventing further enclosure of the commons.

Although not well understood, the historical enclosure of the commons of land and natural resources is the flaw in what is called "capitalism" and so-called "free enterprise economics." While enclosures of land did result in encouraging increasing productivity on land, resulting in huge benefits to a large percentage of humanity, it also has resulted in the enrichment of a tiny percentage of people, destruction of the environment and marginalization of most of the world's people in the midst of abundance.

Modern poverty is not a matter of humanity not being able to produce enough, it is a matter of who gets what is produced. How difficult is it to understand that if someone “owns” the source of physical life (land, genetics, information etc.), that they will always be enriched at the expense of everyone else, and will always foreclose opportunities for people to provide for themselves no matter how creative, inventive and enlightened everyone else is?

The good news is that ownership of all commons gives rise to unearned income to its owners, and this value can be claimed by community via appropriate tax and fee systems, allowing humanity to stop taxing earned incomes from labor, and real capital investment in the real economy where real goods and services are produced. Environmental crises, poverty and roadblocks to evolution of consciousness makes sharing of properly managed commons a life and death issue for humanity. I submit that we cannot evolve until we master what it means to live sustainably in the physical third dimension, and that must include sharing the earth and what we create that rightfully belongs to all. Hooray for the FCC decision. Now on to taking back what else belongs to all of us in common.

Wendell Fitzgerald, Ashland