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Kudos to Julianne Mattera for her great article "The young and uninsured" (March 11). However, I was a bit alarmed by the mention of young adults who "swap expired pills and self-diagnose ailments through sites like WebMD." The young and uninsured should be aware that chiropractors, naturopaths and other alternative medicine providers may offer a viable solution to their predicament. Many alternative medicine providers do not accept insurance, allowing them to set their prices at affordable levels, free from the limitations imposed by contracts with insurance companies. And many alternative medicine practitioners can treat those problems within their scope of practice, referring to appropriate providers when the problem is outside of that scope. Websites like WebMD provide a wealth of useful information, but professional guidance in health care is always recommended, and complementary and alternative health care providers can also be affordable. —David S. Kesler, D.C., chiropractor, Warren, davidskeslerdc.com
Re: Larry Gabriel's "Homegrown $$$" (March 11), taxing and regulating marijuana makes sense. Drug policies modeled after alcohol prohibition have given rise to a youth-oriented black market. Illegal drug dealers don't ID for age, but they do recruit minors immune to adult sentences. (So much for protecting the children.)
Throwing more money at the drug problem is no solution. Attempts to limit supply while demand remains constant only increase the profitability of drug trafficking. The drug war doesn't fight crime; it fuels crime.
Taxing and regulating marijuana is a cost-effective alternative to drug war failure. As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized crime, consumers will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to think the children are more important than the message. —Robert Sharpe, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C., csdp.org
I'm writing to protest Jack Lessenberry's description of Councilwoman Tinsley-Talabi in his column ("Calling her out," March 11).
I have worked with Councilwoman Talabi since the summer of 2004, when I became involved with the Partnership for a Drug Free Detroit. I have found her to be a voice for the disenfranchised in Detroit: the homeless and (probably) nonvoting folks who suffer from addiction, mental illness and poverty. I have seen her attend rallies where there was no press around to notice, and stay and talk and inspire those with only a few days of recovery. She has been a tireless advocate for those who have been the least affected by the current financial crisis, because they had no homes or jobs to lose. —Carl Christensen, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director, James Wardell Women's Recovery Center, Detroit
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