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Let’s clear the air

Recreational marijuana has nothing to do with medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana is a wonderful aid for qualified patients and is legally available (with a prescription), in Florida. That’s fine.

Recreational marijuana, on the other hand, is anyone’s mind-altering, reality-escaping substance derived from the cannabis plant. It is illegal to use, possess or sell in Florida.

Big money interests and some elected politicians are supporting movements to make recreational marijuana legal in Florida. Big bucks of profits and taxes are calling.

If and when recreational marijuana becomes legal in Florida, selling it on a tiny island like Marco might not be particularly good for the residents. 

It’s not unreasonable to have Marco voters decide having a pre-existing ordinance prohibiting the sale of recreational marijuana on Marco Island. We, Marco residents, should make that decision, not the profiteers or politicians.

If you’re a registered Marco voter and believe that the question of selling recreational marijuana on Marco Island should be put to Marco voters this year, please go to brm_pac@yahoo.com.  There you’ll be provided a petition to sign and a sample city ordinance.

About 1300 signed petitions from registered Marco voters are needed simply to put the question on this year’s ballot.

Above all, please understand the huge difference between medical and recreational marijuana. Not knowing that difference can result in a woefully mistaken opinion.

You’re an informed voter. Please do get your petition at brm_pac@yahoo.com for the chance to vote.

Russ Colombo, Marco Island

Special tax districts for landscaping?

We all want to keep Collier County beautiful, but in recent communications with Collier County personnel, they said they no longer can pay for new road landscaping and maintenance of the landscaping.

Rather than raising property taxes on all county residents, their solution is to recommend individuals and communities along some new road projects pay for landscaping and maintenance of landscaping by establishing municipal taxing districts. Such taxing districts will devalue the homes of those in the districts because their tax rates will be higher than others' in the county.

Since everyone who ever uses the new roads will enjoy the beauty of the landscaping, this is not only unfair, but possibly illegal. To make the situation even more unfair, they seem to approve landscaping for some projects but not others (NDN editorial Monday).

If the commissioners still want to keep Collier County beautiful, they should either raise taxes on everyone or re-evaluate how much landscaping we need.

James R. Moritz, Naples

Rising seas imperil Florida’s future

The effects of sea level rise from climate change are harshly obvious: stronger hurricanes, flooding and threats to human health and wildlife.

Several recent articles have discussed rising sea levels.

A January article mentioned a bill proposed by Gov. DeSantis to create a statewide Office of Resiliency and Sea-Level Rise Task Force. I applaud DeSantis and his team for these steps to study the effects of sea level rise.

Rising seas could end Florida’s lure as an affordable “paradise.” The article “Reports: Flooding risks could devalue Florida real estate” contained a sobering prediction that property values will be reduced due to flooding by as much as 35% by 2050.

In addition, the article “We must climate-proof America’s cities” discusses Miami’s struggles with sea level rise and flooding, with residents pouring $400 million into a plan for “climate adaptation.”

But we also must address the cause of climate change: carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas).

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763), a bipartisan bill in Congress, supported by dozens of businesses, would impose an effective solution: a steadily rising fee on carbon, paid by fossil fuel companies, to reduce carbon emissions.

Laurel Chandler, Cape Coral

Short-term home rentals bill

Sen. Passidomo should vote “no” on Senate Bill 1128, which as now written would make the state responsible for regulating short-term home rentals from platforms such as Airbnb, Vrbo and others.

Local governments know much better when, where and who is disturbing their neighbors’ peace and quiet and can more quickly enforce the rules established locally. If Sen. Passidomo is concerned about the “hodgepodge of practices differing from municipality to municipality and from platform to platform,” her suggestion that local governments, like condo and HOA boards, can develop their own rules is the answer.

Keep the local governments responsible for the rules necessary to make short-term rentals work for everyone, especially in desirable tourist meccas such as the one in which we are fortunate to live.

(Editor’s note: CS/SB 1128 has been in the Senate Rules Committee since Feb. 18.)

Frank Sparicio, Naples area

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