Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

April 6, 2014

Letters to the Editor: 04/06/2014

Sad, disheartening

Traveling from Holiday Hills Road and U.S. 31 South to downtown my truck rattled and vibrated hitting and dodging potholes. Recalling Fred Goldenberg’s column in the March 9 Record-Eagle, Rep. Mike Callton’s campaign “pot for potholes” should maybe be given serious consideration. The cost of $30,989 to imprison an individual for nonviolent marijuana possession is shocking.

Decriminalization of marijuana is a controversial issue requiring a great deal of discussion and debate by Michigan residents. Do we really want to continue spending $170,437,833 a year for those imprisoned for nonviolent possession? Is the $5 million a year projected by Rep. Callton’s campaign for the decriminalization and taxation of marijuana to repair our deteriorating roads realistic?

Cigarettes and alcohol continue to have a stranglehold on many. Health insurance costs and treatment of those addicted is astronomical. We bear the increasing costs of the effects these “over-the-counter” drugs have on our society. Lives and relationships ruined by these drugs and the loss of loved ones is sad and disheartening.

William J. Fuller

Williamsburg

Can’t afford to wait

While a March storm works its way up the East Coast, preparing to deliver hurricane-force winds to upper New England and Eastern Canada, the U.N. said yesterday that extreme weather events from 2013 are “consistent” with human-caused climate change.

Last year saw $41 billion weather disasters around the world, as the costs of inaction on climate change continue to rise. These storms are wreaking havoc on communities, forcing local leaders to spend millions to protect their coastlines and infrastructure. And extreme weather is only the most violent impact of climate change, which also raises public health risks, increased asthma attacks, respiratory disease and other health issues caused by pollution.

The president followed through on the promise he made to act on climate change by introducing his National Climate Action Plan in June. Now the first-ever federal standards to cut carbon pollution from new power plants are on track and new safeguards for carbon pollution from existing power plants are expected in June.

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