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The Public Pulse: Marijuana legalization; voter ID

The Public Pulse: Marijuana legalization; voter ID

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Anna Wishart pushing bill to legalize medical marijuana

Cannabis complications

I have never used marijuana and don’t plan to for recreation use. Having said that, if there comes a time that it would help a medical condition, I would have no problem using it or any other drug that was prescribed by a physician to control pain or other symptoms, as have been described in previous letters to the Pulse.

I would just ask that before passing legislation for its medical use, the Legislature learn from the experiences of some other states. I am aware of states where all of a sudden there are 20 to 30 new “pharmacy”-type operations in mid-size towns that suddenly open and can legally supply it with a prescription. Also, that some “doctors” will write a script for a certain amount of money. The volume of production then goes crazy high immediately by legal growers. It seems that the medical “need” for it mushrooms over night. Amazing!

If you do pass the legislation, try to tie it up for only the purpose it is intended, and with significant penalties to keep it under control. Regarding “control,” there are a lot of things to consider: licensing of growers, quality control of product, how is it funded (since it is illegal federally, the funds for the sale from the grower can’t be put into an FDIC bank, therefore it is a cash business that somehow has to be laundered, etc.).

It is not just passing legislation to make it medically legal. There are other bureaucratic structures that have to be initiated.

However, if I really needed it for some medical condition, I’m guessing I wouldn’t have to go very far to find it even in Omaha with or without a law.

Dean Briscoe, Papillion

Don’t harm this right

I agree with one aspect of B.L. Cork’s recent voter ID law comment (April 8 Pulse). Every time the subject comes up, the same old tired reasons are brought up. He comments that an ID is required to pick up tickets at the will call window of a MLB game. It’s not your civic duty to attend overpriced MLB games; you choose to. And yes I have. If you purchased the tickets online, you were told that ID would be required to pick them up. There is a delete button that could then be struck, if you choose.

You don’t have to fly; you choose to. If you drive, you can fuel your vehicle without ID or even entering the business. You withdraw from your checking/savings account without ID at the ATM. And you can set your own limits. Purchases are made online and delivered to your home never showing an ID. Get credit cards without leaving the comfort of your home. I could go on and on.

Voting is more than a civic duty; it’s a civil right, and it’s not always been that way. I believe the issue is individuals and groups pine for the days when only the wealthy, landed and elite men could vote. I’m betting they didn’t need ID.

Cesar Rosales Jr., Omaha

Don’t exaggerate

In his community column of April 7, Preston Love Jr. writes that horrible voter suppression increased after the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby vs. Holder. This narrative runs contrary to the reality of massive voter turnout in 2018 and 2020, an enormous multi-year rise in Black turnout and studies showing that most election security measures have little effect on turnout.

While Republicans tend to falsely claim recent massive voter fraud, Democrats too often falsely allege massive voter suppression. Mr. Love joins the narrative that considers even the most reasonable election security measures or the tiniest effort to register and vote as voter suppression. For example, purging voter rolls is to remove deceased or moved voters, not to suppress anybody’s vote. Massive election fraud? No. Massive voter suppression? No, also.

James Enright, Omaha

Right approach

If the recent spate of voting laws proposed by Republican legislatures contained assurances of equal distribution of polling stations and drop boxes, ease of voter ID acquisition, and other provisions addressing Democratic concerns, they would look a lot less like systemic racism to the general public.

Andrew R. White, Kearney

Dangers of extremism

Charlotte Shields (April 4 Pulse) is kidding herself if she thinks there is no cancel culture going on. The situation she cites with Coach McDermott is a perfect example. He said something with no intention to offend and no idea that it would. This is what we used to call a “teachable moment.” He learned how it could affect certain members of the team, and he sincerely apologized for having done so, despite the fact it was unintentional.

To her credit, she seems to accept his education. What she either ignores or is unaware of is the number of people who called for him to be fired — to lose his livelihood. That is cancel culture. I am pleased she does not appear to be a part of this phenomena, but she is mistaken in thinking it does not exist.

What should happen in this situation is educate, accept the apology for unintentional offense and move on. Whatever happened to the concepts of forgiveness and mercy in our society?

Randall Bradley, Papillion

Tax-hike harm

President Biden promised not to raise taxes on individuals making under $200,000 and couples making under $400,000.

His plan to raise taxes on corporations from 21% to 28% increases taxes on everyone.

Corporations are merely tax collectors for the IRS. Their customer purchases pay the taxes and the corporation passes the tax on to the IRS, while retaining a portion for their profits. Prices are increased to maintain corporate profits. As taxes are increased, the percentage the corporation keeps increases its profits.

Tell me who suffers and who profits from the increase in corporate taxes?

G.H. Kuhn, Omaha

Need to cooperate

As a nation we have lost the ability to have a common sense discussion with those of opposing views. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty. President Biden campaigned on being a president for all, yet in his first “100 days” has shown no interest in bipartisanship and Mitch McConnell could be more forthcoming in suggestions of working together.

Leaders of both parties have a responsibility to work for all citizens of the United States, yet they take their bullhorn to scream at the other side. Hypocrisy is not red or blue, and there are good elected representatives on both sides that need to represent the mainstream values which comprise the vast majority of the electorate. Please do your jobs!

Jay Larson, Kearney

Mental health needs

One in five people will have some kind of mental health condition in a given year, but stigma is the greatest barrier to individuals seeking help. Now, more than ever before, many are likely feeling increased anxiety, stress or loneliness as we continue to navigate COVID-19.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and serves as a great opportunity for our community to begin eliminating stigma by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental health conditions. By breaking down the stigma around mental health conditions, we can support those who are struggling to find the resources and treatment they deserve.

A local campaign called WhatMakesUs encourages community members to submit their own story about why mental health is important at whatmakesus.com/us. There are over 100 stories from the metro, which can be viewed on the WhatMakesUs Facebook page, facebook.com/whatmakesusMW.

I am proud to be a mental health advocate and hope the community will join me in having authentic conversations about how we’re all feeling.

Sheena Helgenberger, Elkhorn

Tunnel vision

Every day a group of individuals uses the comments section of the Public Pulse to refute letters that they don’t agree with. One of these individuals continually cites that people should use better critical reasoning skills when writing to the Public Pulse. What he doesn’t say in the comments section of the Public Pulse is that critical reasoning skills to him is only when you agree with his left-wing ideology. Like everyone else who thinks like him, they always think they are the smartest person in the room, and thus incapable of seeing other points of view, except their own. A sad testimony of supposedly intelligent people.

Bradley Wardell, La Vista

Great clinic

Kudos to Douglas County, volunteers and all health care workers helping to administer COVID-19 shots! My husband and I received our shots at the 144th and Q location. The process was very efficient, professional and painless! Thanks for the dedication and smiles all health care workers and the staff exhibited!

Linda Nelson, Omaha

So thankful

I want to thank the couple who found my phone wallet Saturday, April 3, in the area of 144th and Maple Street, I am so grateful for two kind souls who went out of their way to help. They didn’t accept the money I offered for their kindness. God bless them.

Jennifer Corell, Omaha


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