Pubdate: Thu, 17 Jul 2003
Source: Bay Weekly (MD)
Copyright: 2003 Bay Weekly
Author: Erin Hildebrandt


Gov. Robert Ehrlich deserves praise for some of his decisions this
year, such as signing our medical marijuana bill into law. However, I
must agree with Bay Weekly that "Gutting Smart Growth [is] a dumb
idea" [Vol. XI, No. 27: Editorial, July 3] and hope he will not
continue to let this happen.

You stated, "Unfortunately, libertarianism doesn't work when it comes
to protecting Chesapeake Bay." A good friend recently told me that the
Green Party is made of more humane Libertarians, and I'm coming to
believe this is an accurate description. My main objection to
Libertarian philosophies is that they feel colder and lacking in
compassion at times.

Whether speaking of medical cannabis, or protecting our environment,
we need to remember the human elements involved. The worst mistake I
see being made in our nation today is a tendency toward dehumanization
of all we find inconvenient, expensive or offensive. There needs to be
a deeper respect for one another and the gifts we take for granted all
around us.

However, I see tremendous opportunities to bring more humanity back
into our lives. The more wonderful folks I meet in our state, people
who are generous and thoughtful though diverse in their beliefs, the
more encouraged I become that there's a strong and universal desire to
rediscover a gentler and more honest way of life.

With these beliefs in mind, and having seen Gov. Ehrlich honor his
campaign promise to protect Maryland's patients who use marijuana, I
hold out great hope he will do the same with respect to Smart Growth.
As he said, "Smart Growth to me is a lot of common sense." Governor
Ehrlich seems to try to be an honorable and sensible leader, so I'm
feeling encouraged he'll realize his error, and protect this program
in the future.

Mrs. Erin Hildebrandt, Smithsburg