Record 'poll' on marijuana was irresponsible

Editor:

As a resident of Park City and a parent to three school-age children, I was disappointed and perturbed to see the "poll" that was published in the Park Record recently regarding the legalization of marijuana. Not one response that you published indicated opposition to this, despite that more than 40 percent of our state residents oppose it, and despite the widespread problem that this drug poses among the Park City youth.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (it can be found here: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304617404579305090110567998), " pot damages the heart and lungs, increases the incidence of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia, and it can trigger acute psychotic episodes. Many adults appear to be able to use marijuana with relatively little harm, but the same cannot be said of adolescents, who are about twice as likely as adults to become addicted to marijuana Marijuana impairs learning, judgment and memory—no small matters during the adolescent years—and it can do lasting harm to the brain. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has found that marijuana can damage cognitive function in adolescents by disrupting the normal development of the white-matter that brain cells need to communicate with each other ."

Marijuana is a known "gateway drug" to other harder substances and we, as residents and parents in Park City, need to be vigilant and protect our children against this dangerous substance. I hope that, in the future, the Park Record will support us in these efforts.

Kathryn Zwack

Park City

Coal is an essential energy source

Editor:

There is a rolling billboard at the Sundance Film Festival educating the public about the importance of affordable, abundant coal and its direct connection to our economic prosperity and energy security.

I applaud Friends of Coal West for sponsoring the billboard, because it is very important to understand that affordable electricity is a primary driver of Utah's economy. Nationwide, coal generates 40 percent of America's electricity. We are fortunate in Utah that more than 80 percent of our electricity is generated by coal, providing us with some of the lowest-cost energy in the U.S. Coal provides affordable and reliable power for our homes, businesses, hospitals and schools, and that same affordability and reliability also is critical to attracting new companies, and the jobs they bring, to Utah.

It's estimated that Utah's population will double by 2050. If that is the case, we are going to need all the energy we can get to power our society. That means we will need a diversified, all-of-the-above energy portfolio that includes natural gas, wind solar, geothermal, biomass, nuclear, hydroelectric, and yes, a lot of coal, to meet our energy demands. Continuing to have coal as a significant component of that energy mix will ensure Utah maintains our competitive advantage.

The coal industry is ready, willing and able to continue providing consistently low-cost base-load power in Utah for generations to come. Our future depends on it. Think about that when you flip on the light switch, or even the next time you're enjoying a movie.

Mark D. Compton, President Utah Mining Association

Salt Lake City

Dogs are safer at the end of a leash

Dear Editor,

I think that people in park city should keep dogs on leash because there are many dangers that could that could kill a dog and it would be safer if they would be on leash.

Scott Hersch

Park City