To the editor:
I think that the issue of marijuana has been brought to the forefront because it definitely has healing properties.
What should we do to allow its legalization in a responsible way? Money.
That's right, get it to pay for itself the way gambling was slowly and responsibly legalized by Mario Cuomo. Why not, with the tribe's permission, legalize and grow medical marijuana on the First Nations reservation here in New York?
Use the money to pay for drug therapy, especially for cocaine addicts locally here in Saranac Lake as well as Malone and Plattsburgh. Then require the insurance companies to also cover more sophisticated problems involving legal drug addiction like depression-related drugs and tobacco addiction.
I'm aware that the Indian traditionalists want nothing to do with the white man's vices. Who could blame anyone for that, considering the experience with alcohol, which was unknown until the coming of the European settlers?
Instead of the drunken Indian, we now have the heroin epidemic which affects predominantly white people because of the limited number of people of color, both here and Vermont.
Face it. Alcohol and marijuana and gambling are addictive. This does not mean we should not place them in the public domain. Doing so responsibly will ensure legalization that works.
What to do by, let's say, 2016 with pot? With full legalization, we should dedicate a federal fund to drop the property taxes in an age-specific way for seniors to stay in their homes. How about a 30 percent reduction? That way what my friend Linda once said about the village board could be addressed. She said she loved what the mayor and the board were doing, but the taxes were skyrocketing as a result. This should allow communities to repair their infrastructure and not gentrify the elderly out of their homes.
I wonder what George Pataki would think of this letter?
Its likely that Howie Hawkins would seriously consider it, in my estimation.