Marijuana and the developing brain
Teen suicide is a tragedy and in the state of Colorado, El Paso County has the highest suicide rate. Our most vulnerable population are our teenagers, ages 10-19. Since 2004, the state has been monitoring the statistics associated with completed suicide in our teen population.
Over time, the substance most often found in completed teen suicides is marijuana. Most of these suicides have toxicology results available. It is unclear as to why marijuana is most often present.
With the normalization of drug use comes wider acceptance, and therefore, more teen use. Adults and community leaders who normalize and support teen marijuana use are most likely to blame for this terrible statistic.
The scientific literature is clear between the relationship of marijuana use in the developing brain. It is simply not good for the brain. Education of our youngest people, sadly, is where it needs to begin, likely at the elementary school level, and it should also include the adults in the community.
Kenneth Finn, MD
Politically biased awards show
Last night, as I semiwatched The Grammys I couldn't help but wonder once again why these "entertainment" shows have become so politically biased. I believe in the rights of all to express their thoughts and am a strong First Amendment advocate.
That being said, when I watch an awards show I don't want politics thrown into the mix, subliminally or overtly - and most especially by those who have earned an obscene amount of money in a country that affords them the ability to do so.
If someone wants to use their art to take a political stance, that's fine by me. I have a choice to either buy their music or watch their movie as I wish.
But when an award show affords presenters and hosts the platform to trash our president or congressional policies I draw the line. You want to sing about your politics, fine by me. When I watch late-night TV, I know what I'm going to get and I have a choice about watching.
However, there are only so many award shows on television and their purpose used to be for the moviegoing and recordbuying public to preview things they might not even know they want to hear, see or buy. Not so anymore.
I know I, too, have a choice to watch -and to support the advertisers who know exactly what they are buying into. I find it ironic that Target, with its one-time homophobic stance, was one of the major advertisers.
I love our country and appreciate all it has been and is still capable of. To paraphrase JFK, I don't wish for the democratic or republican way - I wish for the "right" way - whatever that may be. I don't have the answers or I'd be running for office but if we don't have an open dialogue free of political party bashing we are doomed to suffer.
Every once in awhile all of this becomes more than I can handle or even comprehend. If you're still reading, thanks for doing so.
Carol Black Salzman
Decision to reject veterans' ad
Your decision to reject the #PleaseStand Super Bowl ad from AMVETS was a mistake. I am a 20-year Air Force veteran, and I was highly offended to learn that you would cater to appease those who choose to take a knee during the playing of our national anthem but reject those who politely ask everyone, including the players, to stand during the national anthem.
It's bad enough to allow the players make a political statement by taking a knee while they're on company time. Regardless of their motive for doing so, the perception is that they are disrespecting our nation, and the veterans who fought and died to win the freedom for them to receive outrageous salaries for playing a game. If I were to do something similar that publicly embarrassed my employer while I was on company time, I would find myself in the unemployment line in no time flat. But the NFL players somehow get away with it.
Your decision to not allow equal time to those who oppose this irresponsible behavior by supporting our veterans is a slap in the face to all those who are or who have been in uniform.
By your stupid decision, you have turned the Super Bowl, something that was once an event of national pride, into an event of national embarrassment. Your action makes whatever "memorable on-field moments" that honor veterans, into nothing more than egregious hypocrisy.
As a result of your bad decision, I will not be watching this year's Super Bowl. I am spreading this word to everyone I know, including many other veterans who I hope will make similar decisions to boycott this year's Stupid Bowl.
Blacks' contribution to the military
In regard to "Recognizing black soldiers' contributions" by Willie Breazell, not only are they relegated to Black History Month but black military contributions have not been included in the history of American wars.
African American men and women have fought in every war - foreign and domestic - starting with the Revolutionary War of 1783 and the valor of the Bucks of America. To this day, we have had to fight for the right to fight for this country; and it seems we have to fight for the right to be included in American history.
Local historical note: Roland Durden, one of the original Montford Point Marines - the first African Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942 - lives here in Colorado Springs.