Letters to the Editor: Feb. 21

February 21, 2013 

Instant racing, like casinos, meant to expand government

Last legislative session, we were told we needed casino gambling to save the Thoroughbred industry but, as the governor testified before a Senate committee, many concluded casino gambling could actually destroy Kentucky's race tracks.

This year, instant racing is seen as the pension fix. Just as casino gambling wasn't about saving the Thoroughbred industry, neither is this new stab at expanded gambling about fixing the pension problem.

It is about giving the government more power at the expense of families.

Since most Kentuckians identify as Christians, and many of our legislators claim to be Christians, why not make this choice based on what the Bible says?

How about if we fix the pension problem by reducing the size of government by removing those people on the payroll who have little productive work to do?

God has given us great success in using this strategy in private business. As long as we, the people, watch while government grows in ways God never intended, we will continue to face problems which seem to have no solutions.

Wasting taxpayer dollars by expanding government beyond what is necessary is poor stewardship.

Mary Holman


Weak objections to hemp

The two major objections to the industrial hemp bill now in the House (House Bill 286) are: Kentucky State Police's contention that it would be too easy to hide marijuana within the hemp; and there is no market for industrial hemp.

There are more than 30 countries that allow industrial hemp but where marijuana is illegal. How have they managed this? One would think that KSP would investigate this.

The Canadian government says there have been few enforcement problems with industrial hemp.

Knowing this, the KSP commissioner instead delves into economics, stating "there is no market for industrial hemp." He also claims that Canadian hemp farmers could not survive without government subsidies, a claim refuted by a recent business feasibility study conducted by the University of Kentucky.

The market viability issue should be settled by the market itself, not by the state police.

Kentucky farmers need crops that will help ensure their viability. Industrial hemp holds great potential for the commonwealth, as it has demonstrated in the past.

I hope the House approves the bill and the governor will sign it into law. If you feel the same way, please let your legislators know.

David Fitts


OK medical marijuana

It was noted in a Herald-Leader story that 50 people showed in support for the medicinal marijuana bill at a Capitol rally Feb. 6.

People work, have kids or a number of things could have kept them from being there that day. And people are scared, not because they use marijuana, they are afraid of their government and police.

There are many people, including lawyers and school teachers, who are for the bill but are even afraid to sign a petition. Yes, marijuana is a drug — like Lortab, OxyContin, liquor, tobacco, etc. — to which some people get addicted and have terrible withdrawal if they stop using. But medical marijuana would be regulated like any medicine.

Let's have compassion for the people who can benefit from this God-given plant. People with Parkinson's disease, back spasms, cancer and the nausea that comes from chemotherapy and radiation are some who can benefit. These people are not criminals; they simply want a nonaddictive way to ease their pain. I hope you can see your way to support them before you or a loved one needs this medicine.

Sally Bowman


Stop frivolous lawsuits

I am 76 years old and was recently admitted to Woodland Oaks Health Care Facility in Ashland.

I never dreamed that I would need help like this; but due to a sudden illness I was told I would need some rehabilitation to get back on my feet, as I live alone. I have had nothing but a positive experience here. The food is great, too. These men and women go above and beyond to provide top-notch care.

I want my legislators to support Senate Bill 9 to stop predatory lawyers from sucking state money out of our long-term care system.

We should support a medical review panel process that will help put a stop to frivolous suits.

Dean Bayes


Keep land lines

When one uses a cellphone, one is setting himself up for identity theft. Land lines are much more secure.

I would never give out any personal information on a cell phone. If we do away with land lines, how will this problem be addressed?

Leon Creek


Missing in action

According to a recent Herald-Leader article, when pressed as to why he didn't vote on the hemp bill, Senate President Robert Stivers stated he was in a hurry to get home for Valentine's Day.

Granted, Valentine's Day is the most important of the American holidays, however, we pay our elected officials to at least show up when notable pieces of legislation come to the floor.

Proponents of the bill — both Democrats and Republicans — should be applauded for thinking in new directions and offering innovative economic solutions to a cash-starved state.

This may clash with old-guard state politics, but perhaps it's time for a changing of the guard.

Danny Porter


Update telecom laws

After reading the commentary by AT&T Kentucky president Mary Pat Regan on what is needed to bring faster and better wireless and broadband coverage to Kentucky, I hope legislators will support Senate Bill 88 to move Kentucky in the right direction.

It makes sense that the world is going mobile and companies need to invest in state-of-the-art technology. Businesses, large and small, depend on advanced technology to grow and thrive in today's global marketplace.

States around us have updated their old telecom laws and have reaped hundreds of millions of dollars of new infrastructure investment. Kentucky needs to be in the forefront of new technology, not lagging behind.

Mendi Goble


Hemp could bring jobs

The state Senate approved by a vote of 58-50 the right of Kentuckians to grow industrial hemp. However, there may be a closer vote or objection from Kentucky's House. If the authorization fails there, the cause will once again be the religious community.

The religious community makes or breaks Kentucky's politicians, very few of whom would stand against it. Lawmakers' positions in government are more important than their integrity or sworn oath to, not only Kentuckians, but the American people.

The approval to raise industrial hemp — and, perhaps eventually marijuana — would provide employment and bring pride back to Kentuckians.

Yes, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has a voice in any marijuana decision, but the DEA is not the government of the United States of America — we are.

Billy Ray Wilson


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