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Letters to the Editor, March 6

The smell of money

A recentMail Tribune editorial, "Smell of trouble may spark marijuana limits," stated, "The legalization of marijuana is hardly the calamity that some would make it out to be."

Be that as it may, it isn't legal, because the federal government says the possession, sale, distribution and cultivation of marijuana is still a felony. Federal law always trumps state and local law.

So, the state is condoning the violation of federal law while planning to tax the illegal activity. Generating money from something that is illegal is also a crime. It's like taxing both the call girl and the john.

So my question is this: What's to keep federal law enforcement from seizing the tax revenue in a forfeiture? It probably won't happen with this administration, but what if a Republican is elected president?

Chuck Michel, Bonanza

Don't look backward

Your Feb. 19 editorial asks that our new governor consider our entire state in her efforts to rebuild our economy. But you focus entirely on the timber industry.

I submit that looking only backwards at the timber industry is counterproductive to long-term economic stability. I believe that this sort of thinking reflects much of why our local economy suffers, and has not grown as it has in more forward-thinking regions of Oregon.

Isn't it time we realized that the timber industry of the past is not the timber industry of today, and that it will never be the economic savior we've unsuccessfully pinned our hopes to for decades?

Isn't it time to recognize the growth we've experienced, as well as the potential for much more, in the outdoor recreation and tourism industries? Working in the outdoor recreation industry for decades, I know first hand the growth we've accomplished, and the opportunities still untapped.

Rather than only looking backwards, let's hope our governor has the foresight to also focus on what our region has to offer in terms of an economic future that is truly sustainable, and does not diminish our attributes or our quality of life.

David Strahan, Grants Pass

NAFTA on steroids

OurCongress must protect us against another devastating fake trade deal. They must maintain their constitutional authority over such trade agreements and not turn the job over to the president.

The TransPacific Partnership (TPP) is an expansive 12-country trade agreement being compared to NAFTA on steroids. It will ship more of our jobs overseas. It will drive up the cost of our medications by extending patent length. It does not include strong binding environmental regulation for some of the world’s most pristine ecosystems, or protect against illegal logging and wildlife poaching. It allows corporations to challenge national laws in a privately run international court. Tell Congress to vote no on fast-track authority for the TPP!

Carol Palmer, Medford

Bus changes irresponsible

RVTD's plan to move bus routes from Talent Ave to Hwy 99 is irresponsible. It is an ill-considered attempt to resolve scheduling problems related to traffic issues in Ashland.

This change will require riders to cross a four-lane highway which is either unlighted or poorly lighted. Additionally, RVTD will be moving stops out of the residential areas, forcing riders to walk down unlighted side roads that do not have sidewalks.

What's really wrong is that General Manager Brown states that she and RVTD staff recognize the safety issues for Hwy 99 stops. On the basis that these risks exist elsewhere, making Talent stops more dangerous does not appear to be an issue in this routing decision.

Perhaps modifying routes in Ashland, where RVTD says the delays originate, would be more productive and fair.

Larry Barker, Talent

Letters to the Editor, March 6