Pubdate: Fri, 21 Mar 2014
Source: Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ)
Column: The Friday Catchall
Copyright: 2014 Prescott Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Tim Wiederaenders


CHOICE - Paul Smith, pharmacy director for West Yavapai Guidance 
Clinic, wrote in recently in response to Kirk Muse's letter (March 
15) that said: "Pot (and) alcohol should get same treatment."

Smith pointed out that the Yavapai County supervisors "do not want to 
keep marijuana unregulated. On the contrary, marijuana is already 
regulated by federal law."

The one thing that everyone on the "pro" side of this debate will not 
talk about is the fact that marijuana is already in the most highly 
regulated class of narcotics that we have in this country, Smith 
said. "The reason for such tight control is that, as Mr. Muse states, 
it is not completely safe for everyone including children and adolescents."

I agree that drugs like this or any drugs for that matter are not 
toys for recreation. "Drugs are the tools of our trade for 
therapeutic problems that may not be solved by other means," Smith 
wrote. "The county passed this resolution to let their community know 
that they want to create a safe place for our kids and grandkids to 
grow up in."

He added that we owe it to our children to teach them all about the 
truth and dangers of marijuana and alcohol addiction.

The supervisors have taken the lead, and thankfully the Prescott, 
Prescott Valley and Chino Valley councils have followed their lead in 
saying "no" to legalizing marijuana.

"I applaud them for it, as it is a very unpopular position to 
maintain when faced with all the popular yet uninformed public 
opinion before them. Freedom of choice at the expense of our future? 
Not a wise decision in my opinion," Smith said.

A related and bigger, unwise decision came after Colorado legalized 
personal possession of marijuana. Attorney General Eric Holder said 
the feds would respect that. Why then did the federal government raid 
pot clubs in California years ago?

The federal government cherry-picks which laws it will enforce. Those 
are choices I do not agree with.

* PUBLIC - "The problem with our public schools is that students 
perform poorly on tests compared to most states. How does privatizing 
schools to charters that on average produce the same results and 
abandoning the Common Core standards that 45 states use help solve 
this problem?" Prescott resident Perry Wien wrote last week.

"It seems to me that our lack of spending on education is what puts 
Arizona in the bottom tier of states in the performance of our 
children on tests," Wien added.

It all depends on where you're standing, I figure.

We had great educational experiences with one charter school, and our 
daughter had a not-so-great time at another. The district schools 
picked up from there and she now is a college graduate.

Are all schools created equally? Absolutely not - and neither are 
lawmakers who impose "standards" or those who spend millions implementing them.

Still, those same lawmakers - or those I know - work tirelessly for 
what they believe is the best for this state. They take victories and 
defeats in stride, and sometimes sponsor bills that get only part of 
the job done because small victories equal progress over time.

Remember, though, spending at the state level is a different concept 
than spending at the district level; one controls the other.

And, spending rankings are altogether different than performance 
rankings; we rank low when it comes to spending and are in the middle 
of the pack on performance.

Big difference.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom