Letters: Just who is the Council representing on the marijuana dispensary issue?

Dear Editor,
The Gilroy Dispatch poll asks

Should the City Council majority give up the fight against the
medical marijuana dispensary

? Out of 966 respondents 70 percent say yes while 30 percent say
no. I realize this is a very small snapshot of the Gilroy
community, but it begs the question of who the Gilroy City Council
is really representing in their drive to get rid of Medi-leaf
marijuana dispensary in Gilroy. Are these the views of the
individual council members or are they truly speaking for the folks
that voted them into office?
Just who is the Council representing on the marijuana dispensary issue?

Dear Editor,

The Gilroy Dispatch poll asks “Should the City Council majority give up the fight against the medical marijuana dispensary”? Out of 966 respondents 70 percent say yes while 30 percent say no. I realize this is a very small snapshot of the Gilroy community, but it begs the question of who the Gilroy City Council is really representing in their drive to get rid of Medi-leaf marijuana dispensary in Gilroy. Are these the views of the individual council members or are they truly speaking for the folks that voted them into office?

The one thing they don’t talk about anywhere (at least in government circles) is why pot is illegal in the first place. One of the main reasons is because back in the 1930’s William Randolph Hearst owned a lot of newspapers and owned the paper mills that printed the paper. Hemp (which of course is not exactly the same thing as marijuana but is commonly associated and lumped together with it) was competing with his paper production so he rallied his friends in power (government) and finally made it illegal in 1937.

The interesting part is that when the case was originally brought before congress the prosecutor claimed that marijuana caused violence, attacks, delirium, death and was only used by poor black people (jazz musicians, I believe). When the topic came back up in the 1950’s the same guy (Anslinger) told Congress a totally different story. Now his tale said that it should be illegal because it caused mellowness and apathy. He said “the communists would try to use it against our youth in a bid to corrupt America.”

I have read a little about the “reefer madness” propaganda campaign that led to the 1937 prohibition of marijuana. It was fueled by racism, and the uneasiness lots of white people felt about what might be going on in those dens-of-sin jazz clubs. The propaganda machine began to turn out advertising aimed at parents and those in authority filled with lies and fear mongering to keep youth safe from the “killer weed.”

Films like Reefer Madness (1936) and Marijuana (1936) or the film Assassin of Youth (1937) were all exploitation films that have become cult classics due to the comical and outlandish way they portrayed marijuana use.

Now, flash forward to 2010 in Gilroy, small town USA that has the community civility and compassion to embrace the tragedy of any of it’s community members who have lost a loved one due to accident or war, the holiday spirit to make sure those who have little during Thanksgiving and Christmas are fed, and who come together every year to put on that wonderful Garlic Festival … are we now saying no to the medicine some community members need to live as comfortable a life as possible can given the seriousness of their illness?

So, I ask the question again, who are the Gilroy City Council members representing in their ask no questions and take no prisoner approach with their immediate NO to the question of a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Gilroy? Not Me!

Shawn M. Weymouth, Gilroy

All canine owners heel up and listen – it’s ‘Train Your Dog’ month

Dear Editor,

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the largest educational and professional association of dog trainers in the world, has proclaimed January “National Train Your Dog Month.” The goal of this campaign is to promote the importance of training and socialization to all dog owners.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats are turned in to animal shelters each year, and about 4 million are euthanized for lack of good homes. Many dogs are turned in to shelters for common behavior and training issues that could easily be solved with the assistance of a professional trainer or behavior counselor.

ADPT and its more than 5,000 member trainers are dedicated to helping keep dogs in homes, in showing dog owners how to fully enjoy and have fun with their dogs, and to experience the joys of having a well-trained dog. You are invited to attend any free lecture or workshop I give at Princevalle Pet Hospital, 7995 Princevalle St, #100, Gilroy, Tuesday nights once a month beginning at 7 p.m. The first is Jan. 12.

Daphe Robert-Hamilton,

Certified dog trainer and behavior counselor, Morgan Hill

Hear that train coming? It’s the sound of debt, job loss and taxes

Dear Editor,

The bullet train boondoggle will cause long-term businesses and jobs to be lost. Even with short-term construction jobs for South County residents (those qualified to build railroads), it appears that there is a net revenue loss for our local economy.

Add the annual losses to local business owners and property owners whose taxes/fees must increase to pay for the bullet train’s annual operating losses (some estimates exceed $1 billion), there is an overall net loss for our city.

Tourist dollars will add less than 10 percent of total out-of-pocket tax/fee burdens to be imposed by the state government to pay for the operating losses for rides given to the tourists like High Speed Rail tourists in Europe and Japan. How many jobs and businesses will we lose forever? The future generations who are expected to pay back the bonds and interest on the debt have no voice in how they’re being thrown under this boondoggle. Shame on us; double-shame on our elected leaders.

Joseph P. Thompson, Gilroy

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