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Opinion December 14, 2016

Plus Letters to the Editor

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

On election night, my friends were telling me that if Prop. 64 passed, you would be able to light up a non-medicinal joint legally by midnight. Technically, that’s how the initiative process works, but it can take longer than that to certify election results. So, I wondered, could someone be prosecuted if they were caught with one between 12 a.m. and whenever the results became official? I never found out, which is probably for the best.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, someone asked me whether, under 64, you could get a DUI for driving stoned, and I had to admit I didn’t know. Common sense would say that no law is going to be able to stop the cops from arresting a reckless driver, but how many people know whether the issue is addressed in the language of the initiative?

The point is, Prop. 64 has raised a lot of questions about how issues around marijuana use are going to be handled in California now that we’ve legalized it. Jake Pierce’s cover story this week looks at what kind of answers we have, and also at the unexpected ways Prop. 64 could reshape the business of pot.

Two other things I want to mention this week: First, thanks to everyone who’s donated to a local nonprofit through Santa Cruz Gives so far. I couldn’t be happier about how it’s going; people are giving far beyond what we expected at this point. But we need to keep it up to see these amazing local nonprofits through the holiday season, so I urge you to go to santacruzgives.org to donate if you haven’t done so already—and check out Kara Guzman’s story this week on how one of our Santa Cruz Gives groups, Dientes Community Dental, is trying to turn around a broken insurance system that shamefully fails to protect the dental needs of our kids.

Also, since it’s December, it must be … time to vote for the Best of Santa Cruz County? Yup, it’s true. You asked for more time to vote, so our ballot is going online this week. Vote here before January 15, 2017. 

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Letters to the Editor

What Culture?

Re: “Main Squeeze” (GT, 12/7): I like Morgani. He’s got class. But let’s not pretend there’s anybody else on Pacific Avenue doing something as good. And yet every time there are rules to try to clean up the mess downtown, I hear that we have to protect the “culture” of Pacific Avenue. If Pacific Avenue has a culture, somebody tell me what it is. Because what I see is mostly people who probably don’t even live here setting up tables to make a buck, and people sitting on the sidewalk with their cat on a leash asking me for change. You can go to almost any town around and not get hassled when you walk down the street trying to support the local businesses we’re also told so desperately need our $$$. So why would people do it here? Again, I’m not trying to rain on the Great Morgani’s parade. I’m glad he’s stuck around. But maybe more people of his caliber would also if we had zero tolerance for the nonsense that goes on out there. So everybody stop whining about how people’s rights are being taken away on Pacific Avenue, it’s obviously not the case.

James Hill | Santa Cruz

Root Cause

Great article on trees (GT, 7/14). I plan to use it extensively as I and others work for better understanding of the connection all citizens could feel toward our urban forest. The organization I lead is called Buena Vista Beautifiers, our city’s first neighborhood park committee. Keep up the good work, Maria!

Virginia Sauza | Santa Maria

All Consuming

‘Tis the season to go shopping. We live under consumer capitalism and we must consume all the energy and matter necessary to support the market economy. This is natural because every form of life consumes as much matter and energy as it needs to survive and reproduce. Humans consume as much matter and energy as they can in order to survive and reproduce and fulfill other needs and desires.

There are 7.5 billion of us. Children born today will be alive when there are 9 billion.

We are becoming the cause of the sixth great extinction on this planet. If the possibility of life is not destroyed, then other forms of life will evolve.

We are calling ourselves the Anthropocene epoch.

We must have jobs and tax revenue to pay for the military and for wars.

We are urbanizing the planet. We are creating technology to facilitate the manufacturing of food and agriculture inside buildings and on buildings so that we can build more cities and urban areas on the land.

We have constructed a space station to, among other projects, explore whether we can extract minerals from the moon and colonize or utilize Mars.

We are technotopians and we expect to increase our populations on Earth and out into space. In order to do this, we will consume all the material and energy that we can until we are stopped by extinction.

Patricia Miller | Santa Cruz

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