Readers Write: Sept. 7

States should handle control of narcotics

The war on drugs has been ongoing for close to 50 years. It is being lost.

The costs of the war include the legal and criminal justice costs, the lost livelihood of imprisoned nonviolent users, the impacts on those related to the imprisoned users, legal costs of those charged, the drug lords and the wars they engage in (that government counteracts). Al Capone would have been a small-time criminal but for prohibition.

The benefits of the war are increased cost of the drugs and perhaps lesser consumption. As of now, lesser consumption seems questionable. A substantial portion of the population is hooked on something.

If all drugs were made legal, would consumption increase? Having questioned many, I know only one person who said he’d start using an illegal drug (marijuana) if using it was legal.

States should handle these matters. They’ll learn from each other and gravitate towards best practices.


Developers shouldn’t cut down every last tree

While I sincerely applaud metro area leaders and developers for building higher-density developments, I am concerned about the current scorched earth method of clearing land to begin construction. Metro area developers used to save many of the existing native trees on a site and include them in the landscape. Lately, the standard practice of developers is to cut every last tree on the site and destroy everything down to the bare earth prior to beginning construction. Later they add landscaping which mostly consists of non-native invasive tree and plant species. This takes away the unique floral makeup of the Atlanta region, not to mention it degrades our communities over time into becoming just a series of cookie-cutter developments.


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