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Feedback from Nov. 15 and Beyond

Our readers vent on shawarma, immigration and medical cannabis.

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Dine, Nov. 15, Curry Fried Chicken
Gimme that shawarma wrap with hot fries.
Adam Lenkowski
Via Facebook


Legalize It

I was raised LDS and went to church until I was 20. After I turned 21, I tried drinking as I was curious about getting drunk. I didn't start smoking cannabis until 22, and for a year and a half I smoked every day. It helped with pain in my right shoulder and arm, depression, anxiety (I can't keep a conversation without turning into a deer in headlights and stop talking), sleeping and eating habits.

This amazing herb is sleeping and pain medication all in one without having to worry about mixing this and that and without the warnings "don't take more than eight doses in a 24 hour period" or "eat something before you take this or it'll cause liver damage."

I was arrested for having THC metabolite in my system, less than a gram of bud in my car and drug paraphernalia. Up until I was arrested, I never had problems with cannabis—in fact, quite the opposite. It opened doors to a place to live, amazing friends and relief from what was ailing me. Now, I have to take time away from work to go to a class instead of making money; I have to pay fees instead of buying healthy food; I can barely get by; and I have a criminal record because the justice system is backward.

The church sent out an email urging the voters to vote no on Prop 2, using the excuse, for example, of youth use going up as a scare tactic for members, and when you're in the church you follow what they say blindly because "it's what God wants."

I called and wrote the governor of Utah reminding him what his job is: to represent the people, not the church which quite frankly is the mafia of Utah—they run everything. I am still waiting for his reply. I don't expect this to make it into an edition of City Weekly, but I am an advocate for the use of this amazing herb.

After smoking every day for a year and a half and having to quit cold turkey, I can say it isn't addictive and it isn't a gateway drug to other drugs, but, in fact, a gateway to peace and happiness.
Nathan Miller,
Herriman


On Trump's "Invasion" Claim

On Oct. 29, President Donald Trump took to Twitter, warning that a migrant "caravan" approaching the U.S.-Mexico border was "an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!" On Nov. 18, as the caravan reached Tijuana, Mexico—he reiterated the "invasion" claim: "the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it."

As a popular conservative radio host frequently reminds us, "words mean things."

It's perverse to characterize a migrant "caravan"—a group of civilian non-combatants, many of them women and children, moving from one place to another in search of safety, freedom and livelihood—as an "invasion." Is the morning commute of millions of workers into every major American city an "invasion?" More than one in 10 Americans move each year—often across city, county, even state borders. Are they invaders?

An invasion is a violent military operation. Moving from Tegucigalpa to Topeka to find a job and rent an apartment isn't anything like that.

But Trump used the word, and even promised a military response. So, for the sake of argument, let's take him seriously. There's a war on at the border, at least in his fevered imagination.

The United States is signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, under which "[e]ach State Party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare."

If the confrontation at the San Ysidro border crossing is indeed combat to defeat "invaders," then the use of tear gas (CS gas—a chemical weapon banned under the Convention) on the "caravan" members on Nov. 26 was a war crime.

The victims were on the Mexican side of the border. Mexico is a party to the Rome Statute, which means that crimes committed on its soil—regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators—come under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

It's unlikely that the court can bring the perpetrators (which would include the entire chain of command which authorized the use of CS, up to and including President Trump) to trial and impose due punishment, as the U.S. declines to recognize the ICC's jurisdiction.

What the court can do is investigate the incident and, if it determines that a war crime was committed in a territory under its jurisdiction, issue Interpol "Red Notices" requiring states which do recognize its jurisdiction to apprehend the perpetrators and hand them over for trial if the opportunity to do so presents itself.

The practical effect of such an action would be that neither President Trump nor any of the other responsible individuals would be able to travel outside the U.S. without fear of arrest. Ever.

This should be a "teachable moment." Words do indeed mean things, and a when a president uses a word mendaciously and for political advantage, the obligations and consequences attached to that usage should follow.
Thomas L. Knapp,
Director, The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism


Online news post, Nov. 21, MormonLeaks publishes documents alleging sexual abuse of a minor by an LDS church patriarch

Power corrupts and this "church" has way too much of both.
Diane Burt
Via Facebook

I'd like to find out more about the church's knowledge of abuse in the Boy Scouts by leaders sometime between the years of 1979 and 1983 in the Glendale area.
Jennifer Danyel
Via Facebook

The [LDS] church told City Weekly that they "[don't] confirm or comment on anything from MormonLeaks." But they have commented twice and confirmed once. I suspect the PR department was not consulted before the confirmation. Regardless, it's nice to actually have this on the record.
MormonLeaks co-founder Ethan Dodge
Via Twitter


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