April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Letters to the Editor

To the editor,

If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms,
marijuana would be legal and there would be no medical marijuana debate.
Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death,
nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Marijuana can be
harmful if abused, but jail cells are inappropriate as health
interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican immigration
during the early 1900s, despite opposition from the American Medical
Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have
been counterproductive at best. White Americans did not even begin to
smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched federal bureaucracy began funding
reefer madness propaganda.

Marijuana prohibition has failed miserably as a deterrent. The United
States has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where
marijuana is legally available to adults. The only clear winners in the
war on marijuana are drug cartels and shameless tough-on-drugs politicians
who’ve built careers confusing the drug war’s collateral damage with a
relatively harmless plant.

Students who want to help end the intergenerational culture war otherwise
known as the war on some drugs should contact Students for Sensible Drug
Policy at www.SchoolsNotPrisons.com.

Robert Sharpe, MPA
Policy Analyst
Common Sense for Drug Policy
www.csdp.org

 

 

 

“A question of public safety, please vote no on Question 2″

 

To the editor,

The vote on Question 2 is fast approaching and Massachusetts voters need to know all the facts. The measure, which allows people to seek doctor-prescribed suicide for various illnesses, is flawed in its language and erodes legal protections for the most vulnerable of our population – particularly the mentally ill.

I will concede that there are extreme cases of acute physical illness or affliction that could warrant drastic action; e.g.: a fellow soldier being tortured with no hope of escape or the unbearably painful final days of a terminal cancer. Fortunately, most of us have not had to make a decision under such circumstances and cannot pass judgment on those who have. However, these cases would not be the norm for the so-called Death with Dignity Act.

Organizations like Compassion & Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society, are pushing a flimsy law that could mean the death of many whose time is not yet even on the horizon. The mentally ill are perhaps the most at risk of being liberally prescribed death. Insurance companies and successors will even have an incentive to push the option should the question pass.

Ask those with physical disabilities if they are happy with their lives and you will find that even the severely handicapped are. Was Christopher Reeve less of a man after his accident? Where would the world be without the charity, research and art of Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking and Frida Kahlo?

I am neither a priest, nor a doctor and will not pretend to have authority regarding salvation or medicine. What I do know is that this ballot initiative is legally weak and dangerous to the general well-being of Massachusetts residents.

 

Justin Thompson

UMass Republican Club President Emeritus

Boston

 

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