Ending the black market
EDITOR: Concerning your Tuesday editorial on revising the county’s cannabis regulations (“Striking a proper balance for county cannabis rules”), if the object of Proposition 64 was to eliminate the black market, it has failed miserably, as the recent wave of home invasions shows.
Regulating where the stuff can and cannot be grown is a fig leaf. As long as state and local taxes make legal marijuana up to 45 percent more expensive than illegal marijuana, the illegal growers and dealers will prosper.
One wonders why the legislation favors the illegal market. It’s as if the illegal marketers, a very prosperous group, had a hand in writing the legislation to protect their interests. The only way to get rid of illegal marijuana dealers is to undersell them.
EDITOR: When considering Donald Trump’s base, many wonder what his supporters could be thinking. I think it’s helpful to consider the lyrics of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s song “Sixteen Tons,” which describes an American hero.
His environment is implacably harsh and grim. He takes pride in his ability to command it, but his situation is always getting worse, even though he is stronger than his peers. In spite of his heroism, he continues to get older and poorer, and he feels threatened and disrespected by high-tone women. He thinks of himself as having “a mind that’s weak and a back that’s strong.” But we know that when he is 50 and has black lung, his back will weaken.
People in such circumstances are frightened and ashamed. They are undereducated and have no faith in their intellect and ability to think their way out of their predicament. And they are desperately grateful and relieved to be told by Trump that it isn’t their fault — that it is due to the behavior of minorities and immigrants.
A man who identifies this problem and proposes concrete measures to correct it is a messiah to them. What would make America great again is getting more tax money from the rich to double the budgets for public education.
No bailout for PG&E
EDITOR: I am writing regarding Sunday’s article about Assembly Bill 33, which would authorize PG&E to sell state-authorized bonds to finance the utility’s liability for the October fires (“Bill seeks to repay PG&E’s losses”). This would be paid by us through our utility bills.
I was particularly struck by the PG&E representative’s statement that, to paraphrase, the laws that were built for yesterday aren’t sufficient for the risks we face today. That reads to me as the laws today don’t adequately insure us against our own malfeasance.
While PG&E reasonably argues that weather conditions exacerbated the destruction caused by the fires, which is likely true, this is a specious argument tantamount to saying yes, we know we lit the match, but we didn’t know it would be so bad. In fact, Cal Fire has determined that PG&E equipment caused 16 fires (not one match but 16) in October.
AB 33 would let PG&E off the hook and, even worse, charge not just all of us but the very people who were most tragically affected. Please urge your representatives to vote no on AB 33. Let’s not be forced to pay for PG&E’s egregious mistakes.