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Paradise revisited

Last year, I moved from Naples to a big city in the north, a city beset by crime, traffic, bitter winters and worst of all, a short boating season. I could no longer bear the heat, the thinning crowds, commercial activity wheezing to a crawl and with it, my income.

So, my wife and I moved away and began to assemble a new life where people have to wear shoes and pants and search endlessly for parking spots. It began to freeze and we grimly set about buying clothes fit for an Arctic exploration. Through my apartment windows, I watched icy storms batter the skyscrapers, covering the city with thick layers of snow, blowing people off of the dirty black streets.

We survived the first winter and things began to fall into place. I resumed sailing and got half a tan back. Suddenly my wife was pregnant. Through it all I did not miss Naples.

And then a few weeks ago I flew back to Naples to visit my parents. We arrived at Southwest Florida International Airport. From the moment I stepped outside it all came back to me, like the embrace of an old friend. The wet, warm salt of the Gulf went straight to my head. I closed my eyes and heard the birds, the soft crackling of palms rubbing each other and waving in a breeze sweet with the aromas of flowers and freshly cut grass. Memories were rushing to me with such speed I could barely think straight.

That evening on the beach, the sun slowly slipped behind the horizon and crowds of people cheered and clapped. It seemed like the most beautiful evening of my life, but of course, it was just another day in paradise.

Eric LeVine, Lake Bluff, Ill.

Weinstein’s victims wrongfully blamed

Brian Milner's remarks on how women sold their bodies and dignity to movie producer Harvey Weinstein for movie parts in return is beyond the pale. Rape by
definition is non-consensual, whatever the stakes and whatever position Weinstein enjoyed in the Hollywood power structure. How far does Milner go in blaming the victims? He's a teacher?

Gerald E. Stinson, Naples

Make medical marijuana available now

It’s clear to me that people opposing legal medical-marijuana are lucky enough to not know anyone who has needed it. Examples: Children suffering from seizures which only marijuana can alleviate; cancer patients suffering from chemotherapy-caused nausea; people suffering from various types of acute chronic pain which only marijuana can alleviate.

While opioids, other drugs and various non-drug interventions can and do help many patients, they don’t help all patients. And opioids, other drugs and surgeries present risks of addiction, death and other uncomfortable or dangerous side effects.

Studies show that marijuana helps many conditions which other drugs and treatments don’t, and without the adverse side effects.

A former cancer patient told me that the “watered-down” marijuana pills provided by his doctors didn’t help his unbearable chemotherapy-caused nausea and he was forced to buy then-illegal marijuana to cure his nausea. No one so ill should have to bear such a burden or incur such a risk; nor should his or her family.

Big Pharmacy opposes legalization because studies show that legalization causes opioid sales to drop dramatically, hurting their profits.

Big Pharmacy doesn’t care that, as opioid sales drop, so do opioid overdoses and overdose-caused-deaths. An extra benefit of legalization is saving taxpayer dollars by reducing 911 calls. Fatal marijuana overdoses cannot occur. And remember: Fatal overdoses of legal alcohol can and do occur.

More and more patients and their families, who know the truth, continue to fight for the right to use this relatively inexpensive and relatively harmless drug.

Florida’s citizens have spoken. It’s long overdue for our state and local governments to implement the new marijuana statute and make local dispensaries available.

Please contact your local and state legislators.

Cindy Grossman, Naples

Call for congressional ethics

If the normal lining of their pockets at the public tax money trough by congressional members was included in the definitions of sexual harassment, many Democrat and Republican members would be charged with it and subject to explaining their financial gain, thus professional ethics. For those members, it’s a good thing that this isn’t covered in sexual harassment laws.

Right now, it appears that there is no (other) way to eliminate this unethical congressional conduct. Many go to D.C. paupers, but return home as millionaires.

David Geoffrey, Naples

Term limits needed

The histrionics, hyperbole and sophistry vis-a-vis health care and tax reduction/reform is a direct result of unlimited Senate and House terms in office.

Everyone in Congress, of either party, bar none, is only concerned with what impact his or her vote will have on his or her re-election chances and nothing else.

All reasonably informed people, and especially the media, are aware of the congressional Sturm und Drang (storm and drive); yet none in the media address this miasma resulting in penance for all of us. America desperately needs a limited term amendment and only the media has the power to “lead the charge.”

Francesco P. Morsilli, Naples

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