Letters to the editor: 05-07-19

When ocean dies, we all do

Dick Peterson missed the point about sunscreens. First, if we kill off all the coral, we have killed the ocean, which means the planet dies. Not one child but all of us eventually. Secondly, no one said to take away all the sunscreen, just the ones with the chemicals that kill the coral.

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There are many “reef safe” sunscreens on the market. Do you have any idea what chemicals are in your sunscreen? Do you realize that those chemicals are taken into your body and then come out when you go to the bathroom? Yes, more chemicals on their way to the ocean.

Do you use spray-on sunscreen? Most of that sunscreen misses the body it is aimed for and much of it is blown by the wind. This affects the breathing of those nearby plus lands in the sand. And goes into the ocean. Hawaii has already made the decision to ban sunscreens with the reef-killing chemicals, it just hasn’t taken place yet. I am with Ms. Miyose-Wallis, why wait?

Cindy Whitehawk

South Kona

Community includes camps

Thank you, Mr. Lopez, for what you call bad news — the homeless camp moving to a new camp. Homeless people have no where to go in Kailua-Kona. Maybe you could get involved with the community and try to understand the complex problems that face people who live without shelter?

As your letter says, “The inhabitants now have a beautiful view of Kailua Bay” as if the view is only reserved for the well-deserved. As you are telling your community to look up to see the new camp, I say, yes, this is all our community, not to be hidden out of sight. We need to be reminded.

Kathleen Dunphy

Kailua-Kona

Decriminalization bill will lead to more arrests

One could believe that Hawaii’s cannabis consumers would welcome a decriminalization bill just passed last week. This is not the case as the bill only reduces the penalty for possession up to 3 grams, which is a very tiny amount (the equivalent of two joints). Nabbed with that, it’s a $130 fine. Above that amount it’s still a petty misdemeanor with a mandatory court appearance and possible jail time.

This bill has no value and helps no one get out of being arrested as consumers invariably will have more than 3 grams at any one time.

Even worse than the very small cannabis amounts are the unintended consequences of this bill. Armed with newly issued little pot scales, police will now have an incentive to write more revenue-producing $130 citations. Consequently, they will increase their stops and searches of otherwise law abiding citizens and where upon finding more than 3 grams they will be required to make an arrest.

It happened in California in the ’80s. When 1 ounce was decriminalized, arrests doubled. And by decriminalizing only 3 grams (nine times less than an ounce) sadly, there will be many more state arrests than before.

Our prisons are already packed to overflowing and the courts are backlogged while our elected officials can’t muster the courage to reform cannabis laws so that citizens are not incarcerated for possessing a harmless drug.

This absurd bill comes at a time when the majority of voters want adult-use legalization (66% in 2014 a poll favored legalization). Come on lawmakers, if Guam (85% Catholic) can legalize, so can we.

Furthermore, to decriminalize for anything less than an ounce is pure folly. Instead of doing something helpful, they throw us crumbs and expect that we should be grateful.

Governor, please veto this nonsensical decriminalization bill.

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Andrea Tischler

Hilo