Letters: Prisoner says beware of strings that come with marijuana use

Dear Editor,
My Name is Michael Coates, and I’ve been asked to address the
matter of medical marijuana.
I’m currently a prisoner in Michigan, but I grew up in San Jose.
I have nephews who live in close proximity to the legal marijuana
dispensary there in Gilroy. And I’m greatly concerned about several
issues.
Prisoner says beware of strings that come with marijuana use

Dear Editor,

My Name is Michael Coates, and I’ve been asked to address the matter of medical marijuana.

I’m currently a prisoner in Michigan, but I grew up in San Jose. I have nephews who live in close proximity to the legal marijuana dispensary there in Gilroy. And I’m greatly concerned about several issues.

First, besides the obvious fact of marijuana being a proven gateway drug – one that leads to other drugs/chemicals – there’s the issue of attracting a sub-culture of people who openly abuse drugs.

Second is the example this sets for the youngsters who see this behavior. Is this just more of a social breakdown?

Third, having personally been a heavy marijuana user in the past, I can’t help but recall how the drug’s effects contributed to my lack of ambition and adolescent laziness, affecting my home, school and social life.

Never did I once smoke a joint and feel the need to study or contribute in a meaningful way to my family’s welfare.

Being high wasn’t acceptable in any of the academics sports programs – nor is it today.

I worry now, at age 50, if the message we’re sending to our youth is one of blind acceptance – confusing them even more – beyond the “present” chaos they’re facing every day.

Finally, and respectfully, I’d just like to add that I’ve experienced first hand the effects of marijuana. It did nothing to quench pain or discomfort, nor did it motivate or stimulate me. It simply got me high. Please use your discretion wisely and think of the kids in your neighborhoods.

Michael Coates, #193922, Lakeland Correctional Facility, Coldwater, MI

Admonished for characterization of prunes as ‘rotten old plums’

Dear Editor,

This letter is regarding Laurie Sontag’s article “Choosing your Halloween candy: do’s and don’ts” in which she called prunes “rotten old plums that somebody forgot to pick.”

It is evident that you did not live in the area when the valley was mostly prune orchards. Prunes are not plums! There are about five varieties of prune trees – French, sugar, imperial, standard and Burtons.

My husband’s grandfather came to San Martin in 1904 and planted many acres of prunes. He studied horticulture. He built his own dehydrator for the prunes.

Due to weather conditions, they picked the prunes as they ripened in three different pickings. Yes, the prunes were on the ground, and many people were hired to pick them up and put them in boxes. The prunes were taken to the ranch where they were dipped in lye water two times to disinfect them and then ran through scalding hot water on a conveyer belt. This breaks down the prune. Then they are sorted for size. The prunes travel on a screen conveyer that sorts the No. 1 prunes from the smaller size

No. 2 prune.

The No. 1 prunes were then placed on wooden trays in the dehydrator. And the No. 2 prunes were placed on trays and dried in the sun. When they were finished processing, they took them to the Sunsweet plant in Morgan Hill.

If you tried to process a plum like a prune, you would have nothing left except a pit and dried skin.

The Gwinns had around 225 acres on this ranch, and three of Marion Thomas Gwinn’s sons worked on it for years as well as several grandsons. They worked almost every day – long, hard hours. Pruning trees, spraying them, planting mustard, white washing the trunks, plowing, watering, etc.

The San Joaquin Valley began to plant prune trees in huge acreage amounts. Due to their humidity and warm summer nights, they only had to do one picking, saving much time and money. Therefore, it forced out the prune ranches in our valley around the 1960s.

Most orchards are long gone. I would suggest visiting a fairly new prune orchard just a little way north of Saint Louise Regional Hospital on No Name Uno. It is beautifully kept. The owner was raised on a prune ranch in San Jose. This orchard is his hobby.

I would also suggest you should research your information before you write.

Ethel Gwinn, Gilroy

Attend to restroom at movie house

Dear Editor,

I enjoy going to our local Platinum Theatre. It is a really nice facility, although recently their women’s bathrooms have become quite run down.

There are a number of the stall doors with broken locks and the bathroom could be much cleaner. It appears that trash containers are not emptied frequently and there is paper all over the stall floors.

It would really be nice if these problems were taken care of. I find myself going out of town more often than in the past to other theatres where they are maintained much better.

Sophie Gluhaich, Gilroy

Obama’s success after one year

Dear Editor,

President Obama’s success might be best described in terms of what didn’t happen rather than what did. Although what Obama accomplished is impressive, what didn’t happen is the total collapse of the U.S. economy.

America was on track to fail the way the formers Soviet Union failed and the entire world economy was on the verge of collapsing with it. Although the economy is still in serious condition, the apocalypse has been averted for now.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy

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