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Letters: Keep cartels out of Tennessee

Johnson City Press • Mar 15, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected]

Keep cartels out of Tennessee

Why would one advocate for legalization of a psychoactive drug heavily trafficked by cartels, in a state with major illicit drug trafficking and where CBD is legal? Might law enforcement oppose legalization because of cartel infiltration and money laundering?

The recreational drug industry peddlers offer a bribe! "State Representative Antonio Parkinson said he supports the bill especially since it would tax the sales with the money going towards education and infrastructure.” (quoted from a news story). Will the tax be high enough to, like cigarettes, discourage usage? Not likely the plan here.

Legalization is a societal stamp of approval. It is naive to believe that the cheap street price and convenience of the legalized drug will not lead to stoned kids. The stench of marijuana will be everywhere, including at ETSU.

The Press cited a Middle Tennessee State University poll, but the academics contracted out the poll to an organization called Issues and Answers Network, a commercial enterprise. Would you, or The Press, know if a cartel was funding polls pushing legalization? Or buying police, politicians, etc., like in Mexico?

JAMES WINCHESTER, J.D.
Jonesborough

Learn from Boswell case

The tragic case of Evelyn Boswell has shaken us. This all too common story came into my life 15 years ago, as I presided over a toddler funeral.

During that time, as the investigation closed in on the obvious perpetrator, my attitude changed. Anger dissipated, sympathy and sorrow grew. I learned of a young unmarried couple in an impossible situation compounded by complex extended family issues and a haunting criminal history. Mental illness also played a role. I began to see this heartbreaking death as a shocking apex of a larger, wider story. I began to ask, “what if.” What if the father could have found work, despite his younger indiscretions? What if the mother could have found affordable childcare? What if the grandparents could have afforded the lawyer needed to take custody?

My Facebook feed is full of people posting Evelyn’s story, judging without facts and lamenting that they would have gladly taken her. I agree that Evelyn needed us. But I would like to invite our community to extend grace not only to Evelyn but also to those who failed her: her family and our system. This is an opportunity for change. Let us be educated about child welfare in our state. After all what can we do? We can vote, advocate and participate in local charities that help children in poverty as well as their families. And some of us are blessed with the gift of becoming foster parents. (We have 8,000 children needed foster families in Tennessee).

I invite you to honor Evelyn and all those innocents who have suffered and advocate for changes in our community that reduces the chances of this happening again. The court system will do its job, now let us do our job.

REV. A.Y. HOLMES
Johnson City

Do I get what I pay for?

I'm a resident of Johnson City and would like for someone to explain to me what benefits I get from my county taxes.

I'm not trying to cause problems, I'm just curious, because I pay city and county taxes. I see benefits of my city taxes, but have no clue as to what i get from the county other than the county commission trying to keep from giving us what we are due.

TOM WEBSTER
Johnson City

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