Heck on right path to making marijuana trade viable

June 10, 2013 

YAY: GIVE ’EM BANKS

Denny “Give Congress Heck” Heck is following through on a commitment to support Washington’s new marijuana industry. The freshman congressman joined other U.S. House Democrats in proposing changes to federal laws that would give medical and legal cannabis businesses access to the nation’s banking industry.

Without this proposed legislation, legal marijuana businesses would have to operate on a cash-only basis, which Heck says could result in crime and lost tax revenues. Passage of such a measure is critical to implementation of our state’s pot laws.

BOO: BOULEVARD BLIGHT

Patience is running thin for many residents of Olympia Boulevard Road. It’s not just that they are tired of looking at the blighted properties owned by Suzy Yi, but the derelict buildings are attracting an undesirable element. One neighbor with children saw a man exposing himself on the properties.

The rights of property ownership come with a responsibility to maintain them, and to respect the values of others, at least to not create potential public safety hazards.

BOO: JAIL RECRUITING

Not-surprising news flash! Few good people trying to get into Thurston County’s new jail.

The opening of the county’s controversial $43.5 million Accountability and Restitution Center (fancy word for jail) is being delayed because the sheriff is having difficulty finding qualified people to work there. It’s a good thing. The county is setting a high standard for applicants and will not open the jail until it’s fully staffed.

BOO: CHILD LABOR

More than 215 million young children around the world are working in child labor jobs, and are being denied an education as a result. Tuesday is the World Day Against Child Labor, a time set aside by a variety of international organizations to urge the restoration of children’ rights and free them from servitude.

Underage work practices are growing around the world, according to Maplecroft’s 2012 Child Labour Index. The worst countries include Myanmar, North Korea and Somalia. The United States was 141st on the list.

YAY: BSA FIRST STEP

The Boy Scouts of America has taken a positive first step toward the concept of inclusion. About 60 percent of the organization’s 1,400 voting members last month approved opening membership to openly gay boys. But it stopped short of allowing gay adults to serve as scout leaders.

This is a big step forward for the BSA, though its slow crawl into 21st century is light years behind the Girl Scouts of America. Still, we applaud the change, with the hope BSA will eventually welcome gay scout leaders.

YAY: INSPIRING STORY

Think about Jesse San Nicolas when you’re having a bad day and acting grumpy. This 18-year-old graduated Friday night from River Ridge High School. But earning his diploma and a spot in Saint Martin’s University engineering program was the easy part. Doing it while embroiled in a three-year battle for his life with leukemia that regularly left him “nauseated, fatigued and wracked with pain” made his high school achievement amazing.

A tip of the hat to this strong and determined young man, and also to the Olympia Tumwater Foundation. The OTF gave San Nicholas its largest-ever scholarship of $10,000, because his cancer treatments had stripped his family of the boy’s college education fund. San Nicholas will be the first of his family to attend college, and, we have no doubt, earn a degree.

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