Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 23, 2013

May 23, 2013: Letters to the editor


Let people be free; legalize use of drugs

I think it is an unfortunate display of unbridled power fueled by mistaken notions about the consequences of drug usage, production and distribution that two raids were allowed to take place in Kokomo. Big Daddy’s and Little Daddy’s are desultory firms, of that there is little doubt, but allowing the police to raid their facilities because of a “war on drugs” is counterproductive and harmful.

The truth? It is less harmful for society as a whole to legalize every drug than to allow these public “servants” the power to raid homes, prosecute users and shift production practices and methods. As this war ratchets up, kids shift from higher-quality drugs to lower-quality drugs laced with harmful materials, or such drugs as synthetic weed rather than the relatively less harmful cannibus.

The drug war creates a cycle of failure that is used to justify rather than condemn increased expenditures on enforcement while drug use and abuse increases.

If that’s not enough, our justice system is inherently racist, prosecuting minorities at a higher rate and for lengthier sentences for identical crimes. The preferred drugs of minorities have higher penalties than those of their Caucasian counterparts. Gang violence ensues because of the prohibition of drugs because of the high profit margins that tend to increase the risk young people are willing to undergo to produce and distribute elicit substances.

The solution? William Lloyd Garrison once said, “An unjust law is no law at all.” If you’re a police officer reading this, the solution is clear; do not enforce this unjust law.

Rule of law is important, sure, but oppressive law with damaging unintended consequences must not be enforced. If you’re a legislator, repeal. Don’t just legalize marijuana, legalize everything.

The rationalist in all of us tends to absolutely hate the unknown, and drug legalization has an awful lot of “unknowns,” but it’s time to grow up as a society, read some economic studies, and let people be free.

George Edwards

Tipton

Set back turbines at least 1,640 feet

I would like to commend the elected officials of Whitley and Noble counties for doing the right thing. They put the safety of the citizens of their counties first.

George Schrumpf, a Whitley County commissioner, said “the half-mile setback [2,640 feet] was determined to protect both participating and non-participating property owners near a wind farm. Safety of the residences was the final determining factor.”

It absolutely amazes me to hear that other counties’ elected officials will not step up and do what is right and protect and serve all the citizens of their county. This would include Tipton, Howard, Delaware, Wells, Madison and others. When the manufacturer of the turbines does not allow its employees to live within 1,300 to 1,640 feet of a turbine, depending on the manufacturer, who are these elected officials to say it’s OK?

It can be argued back and forth all day as to whether the wind farms cause health issues or property value loss, but if GE and Vestas say it’s not safe to live within a certain distance, that is real and factual.

Through my research, I truly believe there are health, property and safety concerns. But because it is written by GE and Vestas, they need setbacks of more than 1,000 feet, or even the 1,500-foot setback the Tipton County BZA stated for juwi’s Prairie Breeze project.

The Tipton County Comprehensive Plan is currently under review and update. Now would be the perfect time to ensure that if wind farms must be a larger part of Tipton County, the safety and health of all citizens are taken into consideration. The absolute minimum of 1,640 feet from a property line must be used.

Whether the property line is a wind turbine participating land owner or not should not be considered. Once the turbine is in place, that setback radius is in place pretty much forever. Regardless of what the setback is finally determined to be, once in place there will be no more growth in the area. No more new homes or business for an increase in tax base for county roads or schools.

Something I have not read or heard in discussions is the fact that those making the decisions on these wind farms will not be around to see the results in 20 to 30 years. What are you truly creating or leaving for your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

There was much discussion at the Planning Commission meeting on Monday night about the future of Tipton County. With the new Chrysler plant opening soon and the announcement of the Ind. 28-U.S. 31 interchange, real growth is coming to Tipton County. Real growth means permanent jobs, tax base, families, friends and neighbors. Let’s not mess it up!

Stan Jones

Tipton