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Dare to Care

Local news commentary spotlighting medical marijuana, health care and 9th & 9th development.

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Human Kindness
If it isn't enough that a drink with dinner could potentially mean jail in Utah, Rep. Paul Ray is paving the path to bigger and better opioid use. Ray, one of those uncompromising Republicans from Clinton, says it's enough that medical marijuana is being studied, according to a Standard-Examiner story. "Studied," as in there's really no way so long as marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug. But medical marijuana is a different animal, as Mormon mom and hellish pain sufferer Christine Stenquist says. She and the Utah Patients Coalition filed an initiative with the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Monday to get the issue on the ballot. Ogden's Gage Froerer, a GOP co-sponsor of the previously failed bill, is looking forward to a plebiscite to resolve the issue because it's not one of moral turpitude; it's one of human kindness.

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Free-Market Health Care
In a Deseret News op-ed, Don Ruzicka calls socialism "a creeping cancer that incrementally contaminates the body of our free-market system, veiled in charity and directly conflicting with free enterprise." This is his reason to toss Medicaid, as well as any government-subsidized health care. He longs for yesteryear when a "free-market health care actually existed and was operating smoothly at low cost in this country." But the facts behind this claim are slim. Poor people especially seem to benefit from subsidized health care, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. But Ruzicka notes how damn charitable Americans are. Meanwhile, Utah legislators want to get that Medicaid expansion passed—but with lifetime limits and work requirements for childless adults, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

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Cookie-Cutter Housing
In Utah, the developer is king. Building Salt Lake wrote recently that the construction of a three-story residential project in the 9th & 9th area "once controversial." But it will always be controversial. As artist William Littig says in the comments: "Why are we building temporary, cookie-cutter housing? The title 'mixed-use' will not save a boring building." But at least the homogenization of 9th & 9th took only two years. The "Sugar Hole" mess lasted much longer as the developer evicted tenants and scraped for non-existent funds. And let's not forget the Triad Center, once touted as a $650-million office, retail and entertainment complex. The dream went bust, and the LDS church stepped in to save it. KSL and Deseret News were strangely silent when the center's would-be developer Adnan Khashoggi died recently, becoming the ghost of Utah's biggest development scam.


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