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Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Tapa


State must unblock highway quickly

The state must do whatever is necessary to open Kamehameha Highway, the lifeline for those of us living on the North Shore.

I am a commuter, so five hours a day driving around the Windward side is intolerable, as is being cut off from Haleiwa. Help!

I hope all commuters and business people on the North Shore adversely affected by a long and/or permanent road closure will speak up and insist that action be taken to open the road safely and quickly.

Carole Prism
Pupukea

Majority is supportive of medical marijuana

The public should be aware, as our legislators deliberate about allowing the medical use of marijuana in Hawaii, how strongly Hawaii's people support the issue.

A February poll of 700 registered voters statewide found that a stunning 77 percent favored the Legislature taking action on this in 2000. The poll was commissioned by the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii and conducted by QMark Polling and Research of Honolulu.

The Legislature's favorable action thus far has been appreciated by the patients who have been using marijuana to ease the symptoms of cancer chemotherapy, AIDS Wasting Syndrome, multiple sclerosis or for pain management. Scores of others might benefit too, but are afraid of the stigma of illegal drug use or of being arrested.

The legislation under consideration would simply remove state criminal penalties for patients who meet certain carefully described criteria. Any diversion of the marijuana would be prohibited; in fact, all other laws pertaining to cannabis would remain in place.

Since Hawaii lacks an initiative process, the only way for our state to join the seven others now permitting marijuana's medical use is to pass this compassionate, popular legislation.

Pamela Lichty
Vice President
Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii


Quotables

Tapa

"Once they see the method,
it encourages them to practice it.
Or if they are contemplating
(suicide), it's an easy
way out."

Dr. Kanthi von Guenthner
FIRST DEPUTY MEDICAL EXAMINER

On the similar suicides of two people within two days
of the airing on public access television of a
controversial video guide on committing suicide

Tapa

"The rock could be there
100 years or it could
fall tomorrow."

Pericles Manthos
STATE HIGHWAYS ADMINISTRATOR

About a large rock that still clings to the Waimea
mountainside where a rockslide Monday forced
the closure of a portion of Kamehameha Highway


Asset forfeiture is legal robbery

Imagine that the police had the right to seize your property -- your home, car, business, cash --when you had not even been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime. Believe it or not, under the federal civil asset forfeiture laws, such conduct by the Department of Justice is perfectly all right.

This amounts to legal theft, and I am outraged by it. A bill before the U.S. Senate, S1931, would help remedy this problem, although it is not as ideal as HR1658, which already passed the U.S. House by an overwhelming 377-48 vote.

Ask our senators to vote "yes" on S1931 and "no" on S1701, a forfeiture bill that is only posing as a reform bill, but which would really do much more harm than good. Asset forfeiture has become a nightmare for many Americans who have been accused of a crime but who have not been proved guilty.

James Morton

Star-Bulletin should become morning paper

The Seattle Times was an afternoon paper with a joint operating agreement with the morning Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It was in a JOA with a similar set-up to one between the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser.

Now the Times has become a morning newspaper and will go head-to-head with its rival. Since the Times is the better paper in Seattle, and the Star-Bulletin is the better paper in Honolulu, you should go for it, too. Blow 'em out of water.

Steven Alber
Kailua

Why is Harris campaigning so early?

Election 2000 is apparently already here, with Mayor Jeremy Harris launching his campaign for re-election. Why is he starting now? Must we be swamped with political advertising so soon?

Furthermore, how can Harris say that "he did more with less" when he raised our bus fees and got rid of my mother's free senior citizen bus pass?

Ed Lee



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