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Freedom above control I

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Letter to the Editor
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 8:57 p.m.
 

I read the news story “Legal marijuana an economic boon, advocates claim” with great interest. The legalization of pot would provide a new revenue stream for state governments and reduce working families' tax burden, freeing up ever-popular “disposable income” to spur the economy.

Marijuana use, like tobacco and alcohol, is voluntary. You want to use the product, pay the tax.

One problem is the overreaching federal government. Possession, distribution and use of pot are illegal under federal law.

One could argue that legalization would cut into the federal government's profits and hurt the “war on drugs,” which is nothing more than a front to confiscate property and take our rights away. How long will the feds keep their “hands off” approach?

Naysayers will argue that legalization will lead to the end of America as we know it. Others will argue how marijuana usage is a health issue, adding to health-care costs.

The reality is this: We are in trouble because parents have abdicated their responsibilities. They are not involved in their children's education, preferring to let video games and the media raise their kids.

If the government were serious about health, alcohol and tobacco would be illegal. We know both are bad for the body, but government is addicted to the money.

I say smoke 'em if you got ‘em, have a drink on me, and don't bogart that joint, my friend. Personal freedom and responsibility should always trump government control of our lives.

Greg Parks

Bethel Park

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