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Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Aug. 15

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Aug. 15

Your Voice

State taking right steps on marijuana

New York lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are being faulted for failing on marijuana reform.
I believe they did it right. They did what they should. They didn’t do what they shouldn’t.
Possession of small amounts is decriminalized, with provisions to erase past arrests and convictions. This is a triumph for fairness.
For decades, the poor and minorities have been arrested. 
Being unable to afford bail, they have been incarcerated and dehumanized while awaiting a day in court, and then are at the mercy of overworked public defenders, prosecutors and judges, all of whom are on the public payroll.
Reputations and employment opportunities have been damaged. Families and communities suffer.
Meanwhile, privileged youth and adults have been free to partake with impunity. It has been a cruel mockery of the democratic ideal of equal justice under the law.
What New York lawmakers did not do was legalize marijuana. Legalization is another word for commercialization.
The privileged are hypocritically investing to profit from behavior that they had supported as criminal conduct when it mostly targeted the most vulnerable and minorities.
A new bureau would be needed to regulate a new industry. The state would become the pushers of arguably bad behavior with the uncertain prospects of lowering taxes.
The Legislature should now identify the savings by decriminalization. The reduced police, court and incarceration costs should be redirected to improve public education.
Frank Wicks

Cuomo puts pets above human beings

Well, Prince Andrew (our Prince Andrew not England’s) has done it again, making news by passing a law to make it illegal to declaw cats. Even better, we are the first state in the Union to do so; again we are watching history in the making.
I’m sure all the cat lovers (I’m definitely one) will appreciate the significance of this to all our feline friends.
The problem that confronts me is that we care so much about our pets, cats, dogs, etc., but care so little for human life. If an unborn baby was reclassified as a pet, I’m sure there would be a huge outcry to overturn Gov. Cuomo’s previous worst law, that of late-term abortion.
It’s surprising how we can have so much empathy for pets and not for humans. Are we not a little bit more vital than an animal? Guess not.
That’s why life is so cheap in the inner city and murder is so rampant — human life is worth nothing.
Lastly, there may be a ploy here that the prince wants to explore. 
With these two great laws that liberals must love, it might elevate him to a position of being in contention for those running for King of the Hill and knock some of the other people down a peg.
We could only hope not. However there are enough village idiots throughout this great country on both sides to go around. Hopefully one doesn’t get picked.
Bob Nicolella

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