Watch out for pesticides on marijuana

I agree with Dr. Hurd in his assessment of the dangers of marijuana use. It is sad to know how many of my high school friends are dead, many having lived the "high life" using pot on a regular basis, which leads to use of stronger drugs.

Young people I have watched, who started working part-time jobs after school, were at first energetic, enthusiastic and bright, but were soon talked into trying pot by their new peers, and soon began using - then selling marijuana.

These young, promising people lost their initiative in life, became slothful, lazy, and were no longer trustworthy. You know how the downward spiral began - how the use of pot at a young age often destroys initiative and intelligence.

People who handle, smoke, and eat marijuana need to know of the dangers of pesticides used in the growing of the plant. There is no legal use of any pesticide on marijuana. The pesticides used by unscrupulous growers are toxic poisons, some work on the nervous system, others are known cancer-causing chemicals.

If you use marijuana, know how the grower combats white fly, aphids, mealy bug, scale, grasshoppers, etc. Carol Redhead California Pest Control Advisor 35 years retired.

Carol Redhead

Retired California pest control advisor

Lompoc

Background knowledge integral to understanding

The Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools suggested ways parents can cultivate skills children need to succeed: "The true power of asking questions" in an Oct. 1 commentary.

She couldn't be further from the mark.

Background knowledge is integral to understanding and seeking information beyond one's limited personal experiences.

There is one way to acquire background knowledge and curiosity of the wider world and then put that into context. Children must be educated. Children must first be taught the foundational skills of reading and math.

Absent reading and math proficiency, children (citizens) are left in the dark forever; reduced to asking others and waiting for instructions instead of doing their own research and planning for their future.

They have a dim future.

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According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress scores, California is nearly dead last in reading and math achievement in the whole United States.

There is nothing wrong with California kids, there is a lot wrong with curriculum and instruction. 

To suggest children should "understand how other people think about answers" is not just nonsense, it is damaging. For children to waste time trying to read people's minds is the gateway to mental illness.

Learning is not a "social process that involves relationships with others."

Learning requires effective teaching to impart the basic skills necessary for reading and math which have worked for eons. In other words: a teacher, a child's brain and a child's fingers to hold the pencil to practice and further train muscle memory to the brain.

Reading and math are the foundation for reason and logic, without which we slide into barbarism: look around.

Once children are proficient at reading and math, introduce nonsense if you choose to waste their time, but not before.

Deb Andrews

Lompoc

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