Make it legal
While I am reluctant to advocate for expanding availability of another mind-altering drug into society, it appears the drums are beating to make marijuana available as a prescription drug. I think this would be a mistake.
I agree with Drs. J.C. Smith and Thomas Frieden that physicians have supplanted street corner drug pushers as the most important suppliers of illicit narcotics. Rather than adding marijuana to the list of drugs dispensed by doctors that can have legitimate medical uses but which will also be abused and redistributed, perhaps we should ask whether it is time simply to legalize marijuana.
Perhaps it is time to recognize that, compared with alcohol, it is less addictive and carries fewer medical risks. And know this for certain -- if it is made available as a prescribed medication, it will be available not only to some who might use it legitimately for medical purposes, but also, at a low, state-subsidized price, to many who can then resell it to others.
Such redistribution will cost the state the cost of providing it to the poor through Medicaid, and it will also cost the state in lost tax revenues it might otherwise have generated if marijuana were available on the open market.
-- Richard L. Elliott, M.D.
Bad grade for Georgia
Georgia is not doing everything it can to address issues concerning public health, injury protection and disaster preparedness. Georgia received a grade of D-plus in these categories in a state-by-state report card on Americas Emergency Care Environment recently released by the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Georgia has some of the lowest immunization rates in the country for influenza and pneumonia, and a very high rate of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities. Georgias ability to respond to disasters is seriously compromised because it is nearly last in the nation for physicians, nurses and behavioral health professionals registered in the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals.
Georgias racial and ethnic disparities for cardiovascular disease, HIV diagnoses and infant mortality are unacceptable. We need to work to ensure that all of our residents have adequate access to preventive health care, education, treatment and support to reduce these disparities.
-- John J. Rogers, M.D.
President, Georgia College of Emergency Physicians
The insulated legislator
Rep. Austin Scott has proven himself a successful politician by ignoring every criticism, large or small. For proof, just glance at his Facebook page for a few days.
Youll find people asking him to enforce existing illegal immigration laws. And youll read people begging him to limit government spending. He is constantly asked for a dialogue with people who think differently than him. You will read requests from people begging him to get to the bottom of the Benghazi murders, an issue particularly important to a man with Robins Air Force Base in his district. But, like the insulated legislator he has become, he is an equal opportunity neglector.
He only allows those into his cocoon who agree with him or want something he can give them for their vote. Scott learned the D.C. two-step quickly. Welcome to governance in the 21st century. Are you happy?
-- Bob Norcott
The road to Christ?
The advertisement on page 8A of the Jan. 20 Telegraph, was thought provoking. The figure at the top of the ad was the most un-Christlike image I have ever seen. It is an image of a pompous, self-righteous and unforgiving know-it-all, who is posed to strike anyone who would dare not accept his inspired declaration.
The ad is correct in that there are many different denominations and each has its own interpretation of the Bible and Christs message. The use of terms in the ad such as: most Christians and almost all churches, is a very good example why there are conflicts and dramatic differences amongst Christians. The reader gets the feeling the ad will identify the only true path to salvation. All that is required is to forgo ones present understanding of doctrine and accept the ads proposed interpretations.
The ads proposal that only a part of humanity will be redeemed is very vague and argumentative. Because in the end, God will determine who is saved. The statement in the ad; just being religious, is key. Just because one belongs to a particular denomination and goes to church every Sunday does not mean they are living the life proscribed by Jesus. Most of Christs teaching pertained to helping the less fortunate, not being judgmental and living as he did. I am truly amazed by those who so readily proclaim they are Christian but give so little.
Thirty-five hundred years ago was 1,486 B.C. The Torah, from which the first five books of the Bible were derived, was in existence long before then. Two thousand years ago was 14 A.D. No one knows the exact date of Jesus birth or when he began to preach. To use such absolute dates in a religious context is a true indication of ones limited knowledge and an absolute belief in their own pretentiousness
As a confident Christian I believe one should use the exact words of Jesus in developing their beliefs. And, would I be crass to think that a call will result in a request for a donation?
-- Jim Costello
Benghazi attack was preventable, Senate panel says. This headline in the Telegraph, Jan. 16, revealed a report from the Senate Intelligence committee Chairman Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Vice Chairman Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Included in this article is the following: It says that the State Department ended a deal with the military to have a special operations team provide extra security in Libya, and that Stevens twice refused an offer to reinstate the team in the weeks before the Sept. 11, 2012, attack. Really?
-- Gilbert Switzer
Prayer for Today
Most precious Jesus, today, humble I will be. Kindness, I will show and speak. Love, I will share in your kingdom. Mercy will follow me and grace will be my deliverer. In your mighty and holy name, I ask you to guide my steps in your way. Thank you for loving us so much. Our blessings abound, lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.
-- Sheila Bennett
Readers -- ministers, rabbis, priests and laypersons alike are invited to contribute prayers to this weekly feature. Mail them to Prayer, The Telegraph, P.O. Box 4167, Macon, GA 31213; or fax to (478) 744-4385; or e-mail email@example.com.