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Our Economy Sucks; Let's Take the Damn Jets!

Enough! I don't need my two degrees from the Wharton School to figure this one out; look around you. The old El Con Mall lies dead and empty, like an old beached whale in the middle of town. Your own newspaper carries ads loaded with super-discounts begging people to come in off the streets. Empty stores line our streets. I see going-out-of-business signs so often that I want to throw up.

Are you going blind, or are you just slow to get the point?

As I left Tucson back in 1990, the former commissars at City Hall were debating critical issues like Styrofoam cups on city property as Rome literally was financially burning. It appears as if nothing has changed.

Point is, Humberto Lopez has little cache around town, and he has no PR savvy; his efforts are dead on arrival, but his point is right: We need economic REVIVAL, but without the "heads on a plate" approach.

At this low point in our financial lifestyle, ANYWHERE is up, you guys. Take the jets. NOW ("Stealth but Not Silent," March 25). We need the money. We need the extra jobs; the ballooning affect on what follows will help everyone.

Charles Roger Fulton


Our April Fools' Satire Hit a Little Too Close to Reality

Regarding "A Mythic Proposition," April 1: Many years ago, a friend of mine told me that the day would come that nations would disappear and be replaced by corporations. I thought he was crazy back then, but much to my chagrin, I find that his forecast is a virtual reality today.

Corporations and their lobbyists own Congress, dictate policies behind closed doors well out of public view and have no allegiance to any nation. Corporations, by law, are considered a person ... the only problem is, once you understand the essence of that entity, a corporation is sociopathic by nature.

The dichotomy in the conservative/Republican arguments for turning over our government and its institutions to corporations is that the government is inept at running its own business (a major argument during the health-care debates) ... and the leaders that spout this propaganda are the ones in power. In essence, politicians admit they are inept. But they worry not, for they understand the law of averages: The average person has average intelligence and can be easily be manipulated. Their main tool in manipulation is fear, and today, politicians expound that "the only thing to fear is 'everything.'"

The idea that the institutions of Arizona would be turned over to corporations is a frightening proposition, but it's a moot concept, as there's too much water under the bridge. It's a done deal, whether it's today or tomorrow.

So get on the bandwagon, and welcome to the United Corporate States of Halliburton/Raytheon/Blackwater.

Jason Stone


We Waste Law-Enforcement Resources on Marijuana Prohibition

As a retired police detective working full-time in Washington, D.C., since 2006 to repeal federal marijuana prohibition, I appreciated your column on cannabis users (Danehy, April 1). Every hour spent chasing a Michael Phelps or Willie Nelson means we catch fewer DUIs and child molesters. To arrest 800,000-odd persons for possession and sale, law enforcement spends a solid 10 million hours every year. This is not funny. This is a horrific waste of our time, and innocent citizens are hurt and killed as we chase Willie onto his back porch.

My law-enforcement colleagues and, especially, their lobbyists here in D.C. focus on paychecks and job security, not public safety, not crime levels, not victims of crime. For the 800,000 cops in this country, this is all about money. Ditto the prison guards.

Howard Wooldridge
Drug policy specialist, Citizens Opposing Prohibition


The War on Drugs Has Been a Failure!

Regarding Tom Danehy's April 1 column: If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, marijuana would be legal. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Marijuana can be harmful if abused, but jail cells are inappropriate for health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican immigration during the early 1900s, despite opposition from the American Medical Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been counterproductive, at best. White Americans did not even begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched federal bureaucracy began funding reefer-madness propaganda.

Marijuana prohibition has failed miserably as a deterrent. The United States has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available to adults older than 18. The only clear winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and shameless tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers confusing the drug war's collateral damage with a relatively harmless plant.

Robert Sharpe
Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy


Clarification

In "Womyn's Land" (Pride, April 8), after the first reference, we referred to Hannah Blue Heron as simply Heron. However, she says her last name is Blue Heron. We apologize for the confusion.

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