Think Globally, Smoke Locally
In the 2012 election, issues that were traditionally taboo were discussed—the glass ceiling and marriage equality, for example. However, there is still an elephant in the room: Latin America. Obama secured 70 percent of the Latino vote without even mentioning Latin America. Four states had legislation relating to medical marijuana, and two states legalized marijuana, yet the drug trade between the U.S. and Latin America was not brought up. Since 2006, at least 50,000 people in Mexico have died from drug-related violence. Drug cartels in Mexico are teaming up with U.S. gangs, who distribute the trafficked drugs. The violence in Mexico and all of Latin America is spilling over into the U.S., and a fence along the border is not going to stop that.
The average American consumer of marijuana (an estimated 16.7 million people) is ignorant about the connection to the hundreds of thousands of corpses and the lawlessness that is becoming the norm in Mexico and Central America. The U.S. demand for drugs, especially marijuana, fuels the drug trade and perpetuates violence. Our government isn’t approaching this topic. It’s our civil duty to become more aware of the consequences of our actions.
If there is demand for marijuana (almost two-thirds of which comes from Mexico, according to a Mexican think tank), the supply will continue streaming in. As any economist will tell you, without that demand, the supply diminishes. If we are really to hit the drug traffickers where it hurts, we need to hit their bank accounts. If people refuse to buy marijuana from non-domestic sources, the drug trade will become less lucrative and fewer people will get involved. It’s time to take responsibility. Although an occasional blaze-down is OK, buy your bud domestically—Colorado is only a few hours away.
[Re: “To Burque With Love,” Nov. 8-14] I am writing to complain about the horrid photo chosen to represent this group [Jenny Invert] in your publication. It is extremely hurtful and disrespectful to those of us who have lost a loved one due to suicide. (My loved one did hang herself.)
I realize there is no "undoing" what has been done, but please have the courtesy and respect not to publish anything along these lines again.
Roundabout Back and Forth
The letter by Jerry Ginsburg [“Well-Rounded Debate,” Nov. 8-14] is misleading in addressing the merits of a roundabout at Rio Grande and Candelaria.
Mr. Ginsburg refers to overall crash rates when he compares that intersection’s crash rate with other intersections in the area. He has ignored the fact that the same data source that he refers to shows that pedestrian injury rates are at least three times higher at the intersection of Rio Grande and Candelaria than at Rio Grande and Central.
Of course, the other three intersections referred to by Mr. Ginsburg should also be made safer. As he points out, the overall crash rate at Rio Grande and Central is quite high, and that intersection is in the middle of a tourist attraction, Old Town. One of the other intersections he mentions, Candelaria and 12th Street, also has a very high crash rate involving bicycles. These problems need to be addressed.
Ideally, engineers and policymakers should evaluate safety improvements, taking cost and other factors into consideration. While those intersections were not considered ideal for roundabouts, other improvements are possible, though perhaps expensive.
The Candelaria and Rio Grande intersection is a major gateway to the Rio Grande Recreational Trail, the Nature Center and acequia trails, offering people some of the finest recreational opportunities in Albuquerque.
The future roundabout at Rio Grande and Candelaria is supported by the immediately adjacent neighborhood associations, although not by the Thomas Village Association (a quarter mile to the south) of which Mr. Ginsburg is president. I live about 100 feet from the intersection and despite the expected inconvenience due to construction, I look forward to the roundabout and a much safer intersection. It seems to me that our neighborhoods should try to work together to our mutual benefit.
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