Letters to the Editor 06-15
I would like to take a moment to pen a few words as I leave my position as Sallisaw High School principal. I recently attended a meeting at Carl Albert State College.
At that meeting an old newspaper article from the Times was shared with the group.
In that article, former Mayor Perry Wheeler stated that when he became mayor of Sallisw in 1963, Adair and Sequoyah Counties were tied for first in the nation with Harlin County, Kentucky, for poverty rates.
The article went on to share other statistics from the 1990 census report. I would like to share those numbers with you and compare them to the latest 2017 numbers I have available for Sallisaw High School:
Sallisaw 1990, 2017
Adults with less than a high school diploma 22%, 16.7%
Adults with a high school diploma only 15.6%, 38.6%
Adults with some college hours 9%, 23.2%
Adults with an associate degree 2.7%, 7.7%
Adults with a bachelor's or above 7.8%, 13.8%
The wonderful educational improvements that have been made can be attributed to the huge commitment this community has made to Carl Albert State College, Indian Capital Tech Center, and Sallisaw Public Schools.
That support has been tremendous! Opportunities have been given to our students for concurrent and dual enrollment with CASC and half day and continuing education with ICTC.
Many of our SHS students are graduating high school with 20 plus hours of college credit or moving straight into great paying jobs.
I would encourage all to continue to support the educational opportunities we have for our young people. This community and its teachers can take great pride in the impact they have made in making this school system and community a better place to live and raise children.
I am very proud that I have had an opportunity to be a small part of the growth and improvements made in our local educational opportunities.
It has been the greatest pleasure of my life to have been your principal at Sallisaw High School for the past 15 years. I am very appreciative that this community has embraced our family and I have made friendships here that I will value forever. I am very proud to have worked with and for all of our teachers and families.
Today, I stopped by the post office to get our mail. In the lobby I saw a flyer saying “Vote Yes SQ 788, OklahomaForHealth.com.
My mind went back to a very emotional time. Our family was losing our mother, frail and not able to eat very much.
We took her to her doctor in Muskogee. We saw a lady doctor, not mom's regular doctor. She said she wished she could help and could if we were in California. The answer was marijuana to help stimulate her appetite.
You see, mom lived in a very wonderful place. It was at Shiloh Ranch, where she had a large, lovely sun porch, she could see cattle, mares and colts and great grandchildren play. Also, she would sit and paint bird houses or make quilts.
Was her time cut short because her doctor couldn't prescribe marijuana for her?
Sandra Whitmire, Sallisaw
To toke, or not to toke
Just when you thought things could not get any worse - shortly, you will be able to buy full strength beer and wine in grocery stores on a Sunday morning - we are faced with an open ended and vastly misleading question on the June ballot: Shall we embrace recreational marijuana posing as “medical” marijuana?
‘Tis true that other states conditionally license “medical” marijuana. No conditions with us. This proposed law - State Question 788 - has no qualifying conditions. Got a hangnail? Find an obliging sawbones, get him to write you a prescription, and you can toke your way to happiness on any street corner. In broad daylight.
Where do you get a license? From our State. Remember: no qualifying conditions - get that script and you can legally grow and keep enough pot to go into business for yourself. You may:
Legally use this junk yourself;
Have up to eight ounces of marijuana in your home;
Carry up to three ounces(I am told that’s a bunch) on your person;
Have in your possession one ounce of concentrated marijuana;
Be in possession of 72 ounces of edible(???) marijuana;
Have in the home six mature marijuana plants and six seedling plants.
Medical Marijuana? Sounds more like a “medical” marijuana blowout to me.
There is some clinical evidence that marijuana derivatives are effective for a very limited few disorders. There is substantial evidence that derivatives are effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults. So is White Lightening.
There is a lack of limitations in the state question concerning the ailments marijuana can be recommended to treat, how it will be regulated, and where it can be used. We currently have a serious opioid epidemic in our state, caused in no small part by a too general acceptance and application of opioids as a cure for whatever ails you.
SQ 788 contains no provision against smoking “medical” marijuana in public. D-U-M-B.
Then there is the commercial side of this. Yup, big money, folks. There is no limit on the number of commercial growers and associated large volume traffickers. They will rent that empty house next door, equip it with lights, heat, ventilation, drip irrigation - you get the idea. And they will do it to the next house and the next house and the next house. They grow the purest of strains of “medical” marijuana and pedal it nationally and internationally. Did anybody say “drug cartel?” ‘Course not. Why would they want to get involved is such a lucrative, quasi-legal endeavor?
The passage of SQ 788 will significantly impact the presumed safety of the workplace. SQ 788 contains no established standard for how much is too much in the blood stream. There is no way other than incurring a large additional expense that an employer can presume to maintain a drug free workplace. There goes your next raise.
The evidence is overwhelming: addiction goes up; accidents go up; crime goes up; and more.
Vote for your family and your community. Vote NO on SQ 788.
Joe F. Peters, Sr,
Taxpayer, parent, concerned citizen