Jim Hrdlicka: There must be something more than this

To the editor:
Recently, I listened to a tune: “There must be something more than this,” on a local radio program.
Are you living your life with the lyrics of this song ever present on your mind?
If so, know that there’s a better way forward.
Do you live with chronic emotional or physical pain?
Do you struggle with drug and alcohol addiction?
Are you in debt? Are your relationships unhealthy; are you confused, anxious or lonely?
Are you tired of being tired?
There must be something more than this, and there is!
We were created for meaningful lives.
If you’re ready for a change, here’s the first step: Seek a church that teaches both love and the truth of the Holy Bible — God’s word.
This book stands high above all the rest. It is the most read and most published book of all time. It is the best selling book ever, translated into 636 languages.
If you’re open to it, it will provide you with true and transparent direction.
It will change your life.
And who knows, the next time you hear U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” you just might stop whatever you’re doing and look to the hills with a smile from ear to ear.
God bless.
Jim Hrdlicka
Glen

Sam Farrington: Is the answer to need to simply ignore it?

To the editor:

I worked as a poverty lawyer for many years and in later life as a mediator for the courts in family cases.

State Rep. Jerry Knirk’s column on April 21 about pending Senate Bill 7, “Food stamp bill,” left some unanswered questions.

Knirk stated that the bill, “will remove about 18,000 New Hampshire families from eligibility for SNAP,” or food stamps.

Why the Senate would want to do this is unclear. Mr. Knirk cited two reasons provided by the sponsors: welfare fraud and welfare dependence, but not a word from the sponsors about need.

Not long ago, I mediated a case involving two parents and an infant child. The father had been removed from the home by a domestic violence court order, leaving the mother to raise the child on a meager income, food stamps and child support. However, the father was living in a motel, prone to alcohol and having trouble keeping up child support. They worked out an agreement; but later, I noticed her number on the caller ID, and returned the call. Her food stamps had been cut off, and she had attempted suicide.

How many families here are living in grinding poverty and feel they have nowhere to turn? Any responsible legislator would want to know that before removing 18,000 N.H. families from food assistance. But all that is said is that “welfare dependence” must be reduced.

Is the answer to people’s needs to simply ignore them? It would be helpful to know state Sen. Jeb Bradley’s answer to that.

If SNAP benefits are being converted to cash and misspent, that can be fixed. That is what the Legislature should be doing. Not promoting hunger, malnutrition and squalor.

Sam Farrington

Chocorua

Theodore Bosen: Time for N.H. to decriminalize marijuana

To the editor:
State Sen. Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton) is advocating for the relaxation of marijuana laws, especially the decriminalization of simple possession.
Republican leaders, however, who love to boast of their libertarian sentiments when it comes to guns, somehow don’t trust New Hampshire citizens to handle mere cannabis. They point to the opposition of police associations, but marijuana arrests, prosecution and incarceration account for the lion’s share of public money spent on law enforcement in this state. One need not look any further than the police blotter in this very publication as proof.
A decade long study of drug statistics in the states that first relaxed marijuana laws, published in 2014 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, concluded that increased availability of marijuana among adults actually led to a decrease in opioid-related deaths. This trend is borne out by the fact that the three states that border the Granite State, all of which decriminalized marijuana sometime ago, each has a markedly lower rate of opioid overdose. Moreover, Colorado, the earliest state to legalize marijuana, experienced no concomitant spike in crime, traffic deaths or teenage drug abuse.
In fact, teenage drug use actually went down there.
The writing is on the wall. New Hampshire taxpayers are throwing away their hard-earned tax dollars on the pointless pursuit of cannabis, needlessly destroying the futures of those who get caught in the dragnet, all to perpetuate a prosecutorial-industrial complex of police, lawyers, prosecutors, prisons and probation officers dependent on those dollars.
I know this from personal experience. I used to be one of those lawyers in Massachusetts before it decriminalized the possession of cannabis. After it passed there, my criminal defendant clientele decreased by almost half. But as a taxpayer, I was glad to see my local police chasing real criminals for a change.
Now, as a New Hampshire citizen, I would like to see my state government live up to its “Live Free or Die” motto and begin trusting its citizens with something other than guns. Trust us to be at least as judicious with our freedom as our New England neighbors and end this destructive criminal pursuit.
Theodore Bosen
Berlin

Donald Moskowitz: Work with China to change North Korea

To the editor:

President Donald Trump has pointed out the strong linkage between China and North Korea, and he correctly assumes China can influence North Korea’s weapons development program.

We must work with China on resolving this situation, and also on the Chinese encroachment in the South China Sea and the trade deficit imbalance.

At this juncture, the North Korean nuclear missile program is of primary concern. China can bring pressure on North Korea to stop its development of these weapons systems by reducing its trade with North Korea.

One area of trade that comes to mind is the large quantity of coal China imports from North Korea.

It is estimated this amounts to 22 million tons per year, which is 40 percent of North Korea’s coal exports. A reduction in the importation of North Korean coal would significantly impact the North Korean economy, and could force it to change its position on arms development.

The U.S. has large quantities of coal available for mining which could be sold to China, if cost effective, to fill its coal importation needs. This would help our trade imbalance with China, boost our coal mining industry, and put our coal miners back to work.

Donald Moskowitz

Londonderry