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The Public Pulse: Science and marijuana; Support for police; Antiracist obligation

The Public Pulse: Science and marijuana; Support for police; Antiracist obligation

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1 in 3 Americans Now Live in a State , Where Recreational Marijuana Is Legal. Voters in four states approved ballot measures to legalize marijuana on Election Day. 16 million residents of Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota . now join the 93 million Americans who already lived in states where cannabis had been legalized. Several other states were expected to pass similar measures, but campaigns failed due to issues created by the pandemic. Advocates say that the move toward legalization in both red and blue states demands uniform action from the federal government. Regardless of who controls the White House, the House and the Senate, we should demand landmark federal marijuana reform in 2021, Steve Hawkins, Marijuana Policy Project, via Politico. Advocates also consider the passage of marijuana legalization ballots as victories for criminal justice reform

Science, marijuana

The idea that the leader of our state can get in front of mass media and spew exaggerated nonsense about marijuana is something that we as an American people have unfortunately become too accustomed to.

The rhetoric about marijuana, the playing to the emotion of fear, and the parading of Tom Osborne is a tired cycle that continues to cancel any possibility of public conversation based in science, intellect, rationality and ethical public policy. I can only imagine that we are going to have Tom stuffed so future fear-mongering press conferences about marijuana 30 years from now will have his presence. Let’s leave him where he excelled: the football field.

We deserve public officials who are interested in spending their days deeply investigating current issues that will one day need to be addressed. Instead of reverting back to the reefer madness nonsense from decades ago, Ricketts could be putting together a committee to see how other states are failing or succeeding, and the public policy that could eventually lead Nebraska to a successful introduction of medical marijuana. We as Nebraskans need to also do our own investigation into the facts behind marijuana as a drug, the potential for it as a medical tool, and the economic and social impact it would have.

If we prepare now and eventually elect an intellectual who puts the people and their freedom first, together we may be able to have an enlightened public discourse that leads to informed and well-shaped policies for medical marijuana.

Brady Pochon, Ogallala, Neb.

Stop the madness

Watching Gov. Ricketts and Tom Osborne enumerating their perceived evils of marijuana reminded me of the movie “Reefer Madness.” Most health professionals agree that the most destructive drug known to humans is alcohol. Yet, we legalize it, regulate its potency, prohibit it from minors, etc.

We know Prohibition was a failed policy. Since marijuana is not regulated, many consumers have become ill or even died by ingesting tainted marijuana. The added social cost of criminalization has resulted in a disproportionate incarceration rate of people of color. Historically, enforcement of marijuana laws has been a racist tool to target many prominent Black Americans. Many Nebraskans have served years in jail for possession of small amounts weighing scarcely over an ounce.

Let’s stop this madness. Decriminalize marijuana and regulate it.

Chuck Kilgore, Omaha

Support for police

The response to a black person being shot by a white police officer, for any one of multiple reasons, is usually nights of rioting, looting, destruction, burning buildings, calls for defunding the police, and, of course, lots of those “peaceful” protest marchers.

I doubt that any of those same persons will be out protesting the shooting of white officer Jeffrey Wittstruck, who was shot and seriously injured by a black man at the Westroads in the line of duty.

I pray for a good and full recovery for Officer Wittstruck. And I fully support and appreciate all law enforcement officers, regardless of their race or religious affiliation. They are here to protect the citizens of this country. The vast majority of good Americans feel the exact same way. We definitely need to show it more.

Roger Anderson, Omaha

No protests

A white police officer confronts a shoplifter and the victim was shot four times in the face. I’m so glad that there were no protests this time.

Mike Contreras, Papillion

Protect the unborn

State Sen. Megan Hunt states (OWH, March 13) that the ban on using telemedicine for abortion was “not for scientific or health reasons.”

Objection, your honor! It is obvious that the health of the living baby is at stake here.

Let’s look at some science. A baby can hear sounds after 18 weeks, can see light as early as 16 weeks and has a beating heart at 18 days after conception.

Basic and clear scientific evidence shows that at conception, the complete genetic information (DNA) determining gender, eye color and other traits is present.

DNA tells us that a separate and unique human being is there.

Rail against moral and religious people if you wish, but don’t let that stop you from considering science.

Paul Koehler, Omaha

Antiracist obligation

I would like to respond to Chad Diaz from Papillion about singling out Creighton and Creighton Prep by Cynthia Lindenmeyer. Both institutions are held in high regard by our city and so both should rise above any occasion dealing with discrimination.

On Feb. 4, Creighton Prep played Bellevue West and a racial slur was directed at a player on Bellevue West’s team. The NSAA placed Norfolk Public Schools on probation for the same exact offense used at a Feb. 12 girls basketball game. How come Creighton Prep gets away with it, without an investigation or an apology to the community?

Then, as we all know, on Feb. 27, Creighton head coach McDermott used the word “plantation” to make a point about staying together. The coach himself has been very apologetic and forthcoming, but the university is still quite secretive about how they are handling the fallout.

So, even though the schools are teaching books by black authors, they still need to actively put antiracism policies into the real world and own up to it when they make mistakes. Then they can truly become the great institutions they claim to be.

Debbie Vihstadt, Omaha

Numbers can mislead

A response to Fred Hall’s football analogy (March 11 Pulse). It’s true the more voters, the more votes there will be. It is also true and strange how a guy who hid in a basement, never campaigned or held press conferences or had a platform could be the top vote getter.

Like football, a punt returner can run for a long touchdown. Numerous times they are called back because of an illegal block verified in an instant replay review.

We needed a review of the recent election. We would probably find out how the sitting president who received the most votes ever for a sitting president lost an election. There seems to be no interest in doing this. There must be a fear as to what a review would reveal. If not, do it.

Gary Ralston, Creighton, Neb.

A troubling president

Oh, Joe, you have not brought unity at all. In just two months, you have unilaterally funded those who kill unborn babies; stopped work on the border wall (inspiring thousands of illegals to storm the border); allowed boys to compete in girls sports and use their locker rooms, and halted the pipeline, putting tens of thousands out of work during a pandemic.

You, along with your Democratic Congress, have spent hundreds of billions to bail out poor Democratic leadership and to reward teacher unions for their loyalty to you. And it sounded last week like you are even taking credit for Trump’s leadership in the fast track vaccine development. If you and your cronies can just get HR 1 enacted, you can do away with voting safeguards and get yourselves permanently in charge of the White House and Congress. Then, get rid of the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court and we will have a true socialist/communist government. The great experiment of American democracy will have failed. But we will have “unity” because no conservatives will be allowed a voice. (After all, we are all racists, deplorables and Neanderthals.) And people wondered why I voted for Trump.

Lynne Fees, Bennington

Relief bill’s importance

After months of waiting for a Republican-led Senate which would not move to do anything about a COVID rescue bill, we finally have one. We owe our thanks to the Democrats in the Senate and the House. This bill was supported by the majority of Americans, including a majority of independents and Republicans.

I find it interesting that not a single GOP senator or representative from Nebraska bothered to support or vote in favor of a bill that makes such a huge difference for the lives of the people of Nebraska as well as the nation. It is interesting that our GOP representatives claim to worry about deficits when tax money goes to those who make up the everyday economy of our country yet are fine with deficits when our tax money goes to subsidies and tax breaks for the wealthy.

I think that we in Nebraska should pay attention to who supports and who does not support those bills that make a crucial difference to our everyday lives, for our survival, and for our Main Street economy.

Lois Schreur, Omaha

A society in decay

This week’s Grammys were disgusting, perverse, vulgar and corrosive. That is acceptable but Dr. Seuss, Dumbo, Peter Pan and the host of Warner Brothers cartoons are bad? That kind of purposeful destruction of what’s good and pure in our culture is disastrous.

Evil is clearly running loose in our schools, businesses, entertainment and every other venue in our lives! If we don’t reject this visibly, vocally and with our dollars, you can kiss this country goodbye!

Drew Whitler, Omaha

Humor at the clinic

After receiving a second Pfizer vaccine, I asked the tech if I could needle her back with a bad joke.

I asked my wife if she had a license to be such a pistol.

She said, “Yes, I have that license. It’s a marriage license.”

Thomas G. Leuschen, Omaha

Much appreciated

To the gentleman that picked up my tab for the takeout order at the Taipei Saturday night because some dummy left his wallet at home, you made my day! Thank you, I appreciate it very much and I will pay it forward!

Greg Kirby, Omaha

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