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Letters, Jan. 26

$2.7 billion up in smoke?

The haul is $2.7 billion — the estimated value of illegal marijuana confiscated by our region’s law enforcement last year (Mail Tribune, Sunday, Jan. 23).

What could be done with $2.7 billion? It could pay for a lot of college educations, or about 35 community swimming pool/activity complexes. Or maybe we could take all that pot and donate it to fill medical prescriptions for low-income veterans.

And what did our sheriff’s departments do with that valuable stuff? Well, it says they “destroyed” it; probably burned to avoid scavengers at landfills. What a waste, all because certain leaders still consider the little green plant a blight on our society.

Why can’t they at least ship it east to flood and wipe out those black markets? Oh yeah, it’s illegal in a handful of states and federally.

My congressman, the Honorable Cliff Bentz, has written to me that more research must be done before he’ll support legalization. Meanwhile, we can keep tallying the busts and counting the graves.

Richard Strahm

Central Point

Maskless at Winco

Shopping recently at Winco I saw a young family pushing their cart. Mom, Dad, maybe a middle schooler, a youngster maybe 6 or 7 and finally a baby in a stroller, all unmasked.

What do I make of this open defiance of a strong public health mandate that is threatening all of us after two years of struggle with a pathogen that has killed almost a million Americans?

Deliberate ignorance is an act of aggression against the rest of us. Folks ignoring settled science and public health policy for whatever their personal beliefs may be are entitled to their opinions. They are not entitled to endanger our health and safety.

Omicron is here and visiting all the knuckleheads that refuse the vaccine. This milder version may spare you, but it will take out many of our cherished and loved.

Jim Akins