Letters for Tuesday, April 7, 2015

• Drowning is preventable • Hawaii needs dispensary bill

Drowning is preventable

TGI recently published a poll to the question: Can Kauai do more to prevent drowning? Over 500 persons responded. Their answers were: Yes, increase educational efforts and outreach; No, people must take responsibility for their actions; Maybe, hold a town hall to gather ideas on how to improve safety. All were correct answers. Drowning is preventable, but we must do more and folks must take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others who expose themselves to risk by trying to assist in a near-death event.

The Kauai Lifeguard Association, a beneficiary of your generous donations to the Kauai Charity Walk, will have a display on drowning prevention from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 9 at the Kukui Grove Center. It will be an opportunity for you to participate in our educational efforts and outreach, know how to take responsibility for your actions and have a mini-town hall to share your ideas on how to improve safety.

Come and learn:

What is drowning?

Why do people drown?

How can drowning be prevented?

What are rip currents? How to identify them. What to do if caught in one.

Why swim near a lifeguard?

Where are lifeguard stations located?

What is a rescue tube and how do you use it?

What is the KLA and what is it doing?

It’s free and your attendance may help save your life and the lives of others. Dr. Monty Downs and Jim Jung will be there to answer your questions and receive your ideas.

Jim Jung, Kapaa

Hawaii needs dispensary bill

I am a 53-year-old medical marijuana patient on the Big Island. The basic House Bill 321 was great, now some of the changes in the HD1 and SD1 are very distressing to me and should be to you as well as all Hawaii residents. This is the good dispensary bill and we have to get it passed in it’s original version, because SB 682 is insidious.

First off, it is obvious that the definition of “dispensary” has been changed by certain members of the Legislature being tempted from outside lobbyists who want to be the ones rewarded precious licenses, and they are greedy and want control of more than one operation. Why else would the definition have changed to an “entity that holds a dispensary license and operates one or more cultivation sites, manufacturing sites, and retail dispensing locations.”

Please keep the licenses for only one thing each (dispensary, production center or cultivation site) and awarded to one person each to give as many Hawaii residents as possible an opportunity here.

Do not reward big rich growers from the Mainland or tobacco or pharmaceutical companies. The big rich growers already make enough, and the tobacco and pharmaceutical companies have been killing people for decades — do not reward these entities by giving them Hawaii dispensary licenses!

Secondly, to own a dispensary you should not need to be a licensed health care provider. That is discrimination plain and simple, as even the “lowliest” patient can grow and decide how to consume their own medicine for the last 15 years, the licensed health care provider is overkill and an impossible condition to meet for most anyone besides a licensed health care provider.

Thirdly, you, as our Hawaii legislators, know better than anyone that Hawaii needs jobs, taxes and income kept here at home and we have been waiting since the year 2000 for a dispensary bill. And the job opportunities need to be offered only to longtime Hawaii residents. Please consider them, medical patients, and cannabis felons to whom top priority should be given, as we are the collective group of people who have suffered the most from the backwards marijuana laws and have paid the most in legal penalties. Again, please allow cannabis felons opportunity as they have already paid their dues to society.

Finally, please, please, I am begging, that you do not insert language that gives away ownership of businesses that are desperately needed here in Hawaii. Please insert language that retains 100 percent Hawaii owned into our long-awaited dispensary bill!

Thank you for your consideration, cooperation and willingness to help keep the money in Hawaii. You will not be sorry. We, the people of Hawaii, will make the state and the nation proud!

Sara Steiner, Pahoa

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