Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss medical marijuana, Les Miles and the Pelosi ‘albatross’

Not unsafe

A Nov. 11 story in The Star was somewhat misleading about the number of Missouri doctors who support legal access to cannabis as medicine. (16A, “Legalizing medical marijuana puts pressure on Missouri doctors”)

Although the Missouri State Medical Association’s board did adopt a resolution opposing any legal access to medical marijuana, surveys of doctors across the country indicate that support for such legislation is actually rather strong.

A survey published by WebMD’s research and education site Medscape in 2014 found that about 70 percent of physicians in the United States believed that medical marijuana should be legal and that marijuana has therapeutic qualities. In 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 76 percent of doctors favored the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

In fact, as the Drug Enforcement Agency’s own chief administrative law judge, Francis Young, stated in 1988: “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

By contrast, most pharmaceuticals and many over-the-counter medications can be deadly.

Doctors have been overprescribing opioids in recent years, resulting in the addictions and deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Marijuana has never killed a single person.

Dan Viets

Chairman, Missouri

Cannabis Industry


Columbia, Mo.

Great hire

The University of Kansas should be lauded for its home-run hire of Les Miles as its head football coach.

When KU athletic director Jeff Long announced David Beaty’s firing, he emphatically stated he wanted to hire a man with winning head-coaching experience at the highest level of college football.

To say Miles has that winning experience is an understatement. He has earned a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame with his 114-34 ledger at LSU, and while he may never reach the lofty heights he experienced in Baton Rouge in Lawrence, the Jayhawks should no longer be the Big 12’s perennial whipping boy.

Just as good as hiring Miles was that nobody suggested KU bring back Mark Mangino. Mangino caught lightning in a bottle in 2007 when the Jayhawks went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl, but why did Mangino not receive a single interview for another position after that season? Then-athletic director Lew Perkins wasn’t going to fire a man who was National Coach of the Year, but nobody else was going to touch a man with Mangino’s anger issues.

Rock chalk, Les. College football is better now that you’re back.

David Steinle

Russell, Kan.

Whiny donkeys?

Four states had incredibly close results in the midterm elections: Arizona, California, Florida and Georgia. In two states — Arizona and California — the official results changed the initial outcome.

And yet the hysteria and legal challenges were significantly less in those states than in the other two — Florida and Georgia — where the original results were confirmed.

Why the different level of angst? Perhaps it was because of which party lost there.

Dave Shull


Fly higher

The Star’s Nov. 19 editorial argues that Democrats in the U.S. House need new leadership because Nancy Pelosi is “an albatross around the neck of the Democratic Party.” (7A, “Emanuel Cleaver and Sharice Davids should support a new leader to replace Nancy Pelosi”)

As we witnessed here in the Kansas City area, every Republican claimed that voting for the Democrat would empower Pelosi.

She certainly was an interesting “albatross.” As I write this, the Democrats have gained 38 seats in the House and could pick up another two.

I hope the Democrats have more “albatrosses” like her in 2020.

Bob Yates

Kansas City

Counted out

I was a small businessman until I retired several years ago. I have now watched, almost in horror, at what the retiring mayor, Sly James, has led Kansas City to the brink of.

Construction of a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport is ready to go ahead full steam, but the mayor has set the stage for the possibility of many discrimination lawsuits. You can work at the airport if you are unionized or if you are a minority-owned business or a woman-owned business — but it seems things will be more difficult if you are a white male who owns a small business. Everyone can easily get his or her business a job there except you.

Somehow, that sounds very much like discrimination. Good luck, Kansas City.

Richard A. Ewoldsen

Linwood, Kan.