Letters to the Editor Week of 09/16/11

Consuming ourselves
We are currently facing devastating environmental crises, and these are due to: (1) human over-population and (2) over-consumption with consequent waste. In October, our population will reach 7 billion and it continues to grow at a rate of 3.2 people (births over deaths) per second; 140 people/min, 200,000/day, 80 million/year. Worldwide, an estimated 850 million people suffer from malnutrition or are starving; the world food surplus would last only 2 months if we share the resources equally, the lowest in decades. 50,000 people die from starvation every day; 16 million per year. Thus, ~12 percent of the world population is lacking the nutrition they need. Yet we Americans (and others) suffer from obesity and overeating; we use a million plastic bottles/min., a million plastic bags/min., 100,000 aluminum cans/min., and retire (lose, break or throw away) 500,000 cell phones/day. In San Diego, we generate 1.4 million tons of waste per year. The 6,400,000 car accidents/year in the U.S. kill 45,000 people, injure 3 million, and cost $230 billion. Californians use ~100 billion gallons of gas/year; SUVs and pick ups are two times more likely to kill another driver, 4 time more likely to roll over, and 20 percent more likely to kill a kid. Auto crashes are the leading cause of death for the age group 6-27 years. Almost all bike fatalities result from car accidents. Do we really need to consume and waste like this?
Milton Saier
Professor of Molecular Biology
SUBHEAD
The advent of medical marijuana is still in its early stages and there is no concrete plan by city and county authorities to garner the great wealth generated by medical marijuana sales.
 As this writer mentioned before; medical marijuana sales are treated like any other commodity and taxed in the same bracket.  This is NOT conducive to the betterment of society, as the bulk of profits are going to the growers–who should be happy just to be able to legally produce  the product.
 Towns like Pacific Beach, suffer from an epidemic of street people, urinating on sidewalks and harrassing citizens for small change.  There is an abundance of dog excrement; pot holes; litter;  and other signs of urban blight, which lead to a perception that this part of San Diego is a definite eyesore.
 This cannot stand and as long as medical mariuana establishments are thriving financially; it seems only fitting and proper that the city of San Diego should be garnering half–if not more–of the profits, so that society will benefit from this new source of tax monies.
 Getting back to towns like Pacific Beach,  which  typifies a youth ghetto for college students; there is also a problem with NOT enough police presence to control the bands of roving youths, who traverse the alleys late at night, making noise–and waking working people– with their entitlement mentality, after the bars close at  two A.M..
 An increase in the tax on dope, could mean more police officers could be hired by the city, during these hard times for the nation.
 Senior citizens–such as myself– cannot  walk down the boulevards, without almost getting run over by bicyclists on the sidewalk.  In short, the town is out of control, plagued by noise in the form of disturbance of the peace at three and four in the morning.
 It is my sincere hope that medical marijuana will be readily available to the patients who need it, no matter what their age, but as things now stand; there is definite room for improvement.
 If I were ever to run for city council;  I would make sure that collectives are taxed through the nose and that the present price scales be reduced seventy-five percent–while radically increasing the tax on marijuana,  so that patients could afford the medicine and the profit concept shold be the exclusive prerogative of society–NOT  the growers, who are making a killing.
 Legalization of marijuana is a tool for the relief of maladies and the betterment of society, by eliminating all facets of the criminal aspect.
 
Thor H. Asgardson
Cardiff, CA.

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