The News-Times (Sunday) - - Opinion -

Dear Gover­nor-elect La­mont, please le­gal­ize mar­i­juana

Iwant to con­grat­u­late Ned La­mont on his elec­tion as our new gover­nor. His first or­der of busi­ness is deal­ing with the state’s bud­get short­fall. My modest pro­posal is for the state to le­gal­ize recre­ational use of mar­i­juana. A few points:

1) Al­co­hol, a le­gal drug, killed more than 2,000 Con­necti­cut res­i­dents last year. This rep­re­sents di­rect ef­fects of al­co­hol use, and does not in­clude thou­sands of drunken driv­ing deaths. In con­ver­sa­tions I have had with re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts, they were unan­i­mous in stat­ing that al­co­hol is the gate­way drug to co­caine and heroin, not pot.

2) No one ever died of a pot over­dose. 3) Mar­i­juana is now le­gal in 33 states, in­clud­ing Mas­sachusetts, Ver­mont, and Maine.

4) Ev­ery state that has le­gal­ized pot has a bud­get sur­plus and has not had to raise taxes.

5) Based on our pop­u­la­tion, we could ex­pect rev­enue from mar­i­juana sales to be nearly $250 mil­lion an­nu­ally.

This is a no-brainer. Gover­nor La­mont, please make this hap­pen. James S. Mel­lett New Fair­field

‘Lan­guage and how we use lan­guage de­ter­mines how we act’

She is Ntozake Shange. Her sem­i­nal chore­opoem, “For Colored Girls Who Have Con­sid­ered Sui­cide/When the Rain­bow is Enuf,” nom­i­nated for a Tony in 1975, is a work of artistry and chal­lenge. She has died.

I knew her as the older sis­ter of my high school class­mate, Wanda (now Ifa Bayeza). She was Paulette Williams. In this time of daily, open hate, the pass­ing of this ex­ertive in­flu­encer not only made me cry, it made me think. She once said, “I’m a firm be­liever that lan­guage and how we use lan­guage de­ter­mines how we act, and how we act then de­ter­mines our lives and other peo­ple’s lives.” Her words, well be­yond just these few, are timely and res­onate.

I sug­gest, in re­sponse to the heinous acts that we’ve come to know of over the past few days, and those that may still be kept from us or are yet to come, we re­turn to and re­view our own daily words. You might want to look up the word “hate,” as well as its de­riv­a­tives in the Ur­ban Dic­tionary. It says, a “hate fact” is a mat­ter of truth, fact, or re­al­ity that sup­ports an ar­gu­ment based on stereo­type or prej­u­dice. Sound fa­mil­iar?

The Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion notes that hate is not a crime in and of it­self. After all, we’ve all hated broc­coli, school­work, an im­po­lite post­ing, and/or be­ing un­heard. We may re­spond with an “I hate this,” usu­ally mean an “I don’t like this,” and of­ten find our words re­ceived in si­lence. Words are clearly more im­por­tant than that, or should be.

Do we hear those who hate be­fore their words de­ter­mine their acts? Per­haps if we make the con­certed ef­fort to sim­ply lis­ten to and hear our words, and share our daily bread in com­mu­nity, we’ll find that “the Rain­bow is Enuf.” Isn’t it? Ted Killmer Dan­bury

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