Weed and Capitalism

Letter writers address Rep. Val Hoyle, the gas ban and other local issues


Congressional Representative for Oregon District 4 (which includes Lane County) Val Hoyle spoke at the City Club of Eugene Feb. 24. I really appreciated her call-out that Oregon experiences the brunt of climate change.

The newly named “fire/smoke season” that affects us all is not the only culprit; the coastal ecosystem from which so many Oregonians draw livelihoods is also being affected by increasing ocean acidification. I was most excited to hear her plan for building an expanded “green port” in Coos Bay, a project that could bring thousands of jobs to the area.

 I had a feeling that a “green port” had something to do with it being environmentally friendly and I looked it up to confirm. I do not live in Coos Bay, but, from the outside, this sounds like a great economic opportunity. Hoyle even brought up the possibility of using that larger port to help build a floating offshore wind farm. That proposed installation could produce three gigawatts of electricity — enough for approximately 2.25 million households. As Hoyle stated, however, local communities and fishermen may be impacted by such an installation, and it is imperative that their concerns be fully addressed before moving forward. I sincerely appreciate that she is considering a variety of possible ways of protecting the climate while looking out for Oregonians.

Transitioning to environmentally friendly technologies can simultaneously develop the local economy, reduce local pollution, and make Oregon a leader in the fight against climate change.

Ben Rubin



Steve Jenson (Letters, March 23) suggests I set a good example by being the first to move out of town to object to the proposed gas ban. I never suggested that might happen. I don’t live in Eugene and never did. What I did say is that it’s silly to pretend such a ban can do anything environmentally helpful.

What’s next, battery candles for churches and birthday cakes? Or flatulence-free beans on grocery shelves? It’s moot now that the voters will decide.

Lee Rothrock



How to attract millennial employees to your business:

Display your wages in your job posting. As far as millennials are concerned, to not post your wages is a sign of a dishonest employer.

Pay more than minimum wage. Your employees need to live, and the minimum wage has not kept up with the rents or inflation rates. Millennials want to work, just not for slave wages. The simple truth is, if a person can’t survive on minimum wage, then they’re not going to waste time applying for a job that pays minimum wage. Which means the only people applying for your job are going to be desperate people who can’t get hired anywhere else — felons, drug addicts, etc. If you want quality, you have to pay for it.

Stop blaming people for not wanting to work for you. Take personal responsibility for your business and how you’re running said business. Capitalism runs on a survival of the fittest model; meaning the strong find a way to adapt to the changes in the market and the weak whine and go bankrupt. If you’re having trouble with your business, that is your fault: Not the employees, not the customers, not the government, not the market.

Blaming millennials for not wanting to work for you is a sign of a weak capitalist.

Stephen Forrest



Just because marijuana is legal in Oregon does not mean that it is safe to smoke. Smoking marijuana can have harmful effects on an individual’s health and the environment. Although it may seem to have medicinal qualities, it can have adverse effects such as confusion, paranoia, and anxiety, and push people into hysteria. In addition to potential negative impacts on one’s mental health, smoking marijuana can also lead to lung damage, similar to that caused by cigarette smoke.

Furthermore, growing marijuana can be harmful to the environment. The process of growing marijuana requires the use of insecticides, fertilizer, and water, which can pollute soil and water sources. The increased agricultural land use also leads to increased topsoil erosion. Our overcrowded mother Earth is losing topsoil ten times faster than it is being replaced.

The cultivation of non-intoxicating hemp can be justified for its practical use in making rope, clothing, and non-intoxicating medicines. It is thus similar to growing cotton in the sense the product is actually needed, unlike tobacco and marijuana.

Christopher Calder