Relieve the pain

I have never been a marijuana smoker; caffeine and alcohol have been my drugs of choice.

But in April my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and after his surgery the debate over legalization of marijuana became very personal. Before and after surgery, he experienced dramatic weight loss, down to 117 pounds, with little appetite.

Additionally, there was excruciating back pain, so that sitting for all but a few minutes was impossible.

The medical establishment’s response to these problems was the narcotic oxycodone. This is an extremely strong and addictive pharmaceutical. The drug had no apparent effect on his pain and appetite, so the dosage was increased. Now, nearly six months later, discontinuing the drug is dangerous and needs to be done quite slowly, and under a doctor’s watchful eye.

This is a story I have heard from many others, whose friend or family member had that terrible experience, or who went through it themselves.

Medicinal marijuana has become legal in several states. Where it has been possible to obtain it legally, my husband reported increased appetite and a relief from pain, without the side effect of addiction.

Here in South Carolina, in May, a 66-year-old man was arrested and marijuana plants confiscated. He was growing them to ease the pain of his chronically ill wife.

It is impossible to justify hunting down those who use marijuana for pain relief when a dangerous and highly addictive narcotic is the legal alternative.

The only rationale for this is that our legislators are more responsive to the pharmaceutical lobby than to their constituents.

It’s time to take an honest look at this problem and do the right thing. Legalizing marijuana is just the civilized thing to do.

Agnes F. Pomata, Ph.D.

Foxfire Road

Wadmalaw Island

Excellent rating

The state report cards for schools and school districts give our Dorchester 2 schools an “excellent” absolute rating and an “excellent” improvement rating.

This is the highest rating a school district can receive. Behind these achievements stand dedicated teachers, principals, support staff, students, parents, district employees and Superintendent Joe Pye.

Everyone in Summerville will benefit from those excellent ratings. Our students will be able to apply to the best colleges and universities in America.

The business community will have a better prepared workforce.

Crime will decrease and people will enjoy a better quality of life.

These excellent scores underscore Dorchester 2 schools’ excellence and also validate the Common Core standards.

Along with these excellent ratings come additional responsibilities — providing the financial support our schools have earned. Our real estate agents use the schools as their pitch to buy here.

One school in particular stands out: Windsor Hill Elementary has a poverty index of over 80 percent and received an “excellent” absolute rating. It beat the odds through love, dedication and hard work.

We must start properly compensating our teachers and administrators or we will lose them to other districts and states.

There are no average schools in Dorchester 2 because they don’t strive to be average. They reach for excellence, and they obtain it. It is time to put our tax dollars where they will receive the biggest return on investment — our schools.

Brooks P. Moore

Blue House Road


True gentleman

Dr. Louis D. Rubin was a true gentleman and scholar. His books were absolutely wonderful. “The Golden Weather,” his first novel, is one of my favorites. It captured the flavor of Charleston in the 1920s and 1930s.

I met him once many years ago at Atlantic Books on East Bay. He was in search of a particular book and found it. We had an enjoyable chat. It turned out that he attended James Simons School with my aunt.

He will be missed by many, but his memory will live on in his books.

Bill Bryan

Joy Avenue


Streets in use

There is no clutter in the Magic Kingdom. Disneyland’s main street is what most Americans think their main streets of the past were like, all neat and tidy.

They are wrong.

Main streets have always been vibrant places where people meet and share experiences. They are full of “clutter.”

Apparently some city officials think our King Street should be more like the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street.

About 10 years ago I got wind that the city was concerned about “clutter” on King Street.

I met with officials and learned they were referring to unauthorized trash cans, newspaper stands and, guess what, locked bicycles. You know, clutter.

At that time their solution was to ban locking bicycles to trees, lampposts and signposts along King Street. We worked out a compromise whereby the city would install bike racks just off King Street and not confiscate parked bikes elsewhere.

Flash forward a decade: Now city police are cutting locks and confiscating bikes and charging owners a $45 fine.

The reason: Locked bicycles along the street are dangerous. Seriously.

Several years ago we approached the city with the idea to install bicycle parking “corrals” along King Street.

We have been pleasantly surprised to see they have become popular and added to the economic vitality of the street.

Now instead of one or two shoppers parking one car, in the same space six or eight shoppers can park their bikes.

The city of Charleston is making progress in moving us to a more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly community.

I ask city officials not to stop now.

Rescind this anti-bicycle ordinance; install more corrals along King Street and other streets; increase the pace of reversing most one-way streets; put in more four-way stop signs instead of signaling devices; think of creative ways to encourage bicycle transportation; and most of all don’t succumb to the Disneyfication of the Holy City.

Don Sparks, Ph.D.

Board Member

Charleston Moves

Smith Street

New school

I am writing in response to the recent debate over the location of the new Berkeley County middle school, and the October 23 article “Daniel Island residents win battle to keep grades K-8.” I was surprised to read that Superintendent Rodney Thompson supports keeping the middle school on Daniel Island. I understand the land was donated, but isn’t respecting equal opportunities for all students more important? Equal opportunities includes equal commute times.

Take a look at the school bus schedules for students living near Clements Ferry Road attending both Daniel Island School and Cainhoy Elementary/Middle.

These students spend 40 minutes to an hour on the bus to and from school.

It is unfair to allow Daniel Island students to continue to be able to walk and bike to school at the expense of Cainhoy students’ long bus commutes.

Here’s an idea: Why not build the new middle school at the proposed Clements Ferry Road location, but instead of reconfiguring grades to make Daniel Island and Cainhoy K-8 schools elementary only, let them stay the way they are?

This will reduce commute times for students, support projected population growth on Clements Ferry Road, and fix the overcrowding issue.

The 454 students currently bused to Daniel Island School but living off the island will have a new school, and Daniel Island residents can still keep their “pedestrian lifestyle.”

Sarah Wiegreffe

College of Charleston

Coming Street