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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Opinion Sampler: Sex, drugs and public comment ...

Public comments: Imagined risk no cause for alarm — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

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Once again, a little-known adviser to some Utah elected officials, one possessed of a runaway imagination, has suggested that the free flow of ideas and information that a democracy depends on could prove too hot to handle and so should be curtailed.

The manager of the Utah Counties Indemnity Pool, Johnnie Miller, has suggested that local governments might want to pull the plug on the open-mic portion of their meetings, lest they get sued for the ravings of one of their citizens....

... If Miller’s reasoning sounds sadly familiar, it is because it is all too similar to the one used by members of the staff of the Utah Legislature when the infamous HB477 sprang up at the end of its 2011 session. That was the horrid, and short-lived, enactment that was intended to rip the guts out of the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act. ...

Public comment essential to process — Helena Independent Record Editorial

... We will always encourage a transparent government. Part of this transparency must be the inclusion of public comment within the decision-making process. Rather than obstructing the process, we feel like this will enhance the process and help ensure that the public and its resources are protected. ...

Colorado's other legal marijuana — Denver Post Editorial

With the legal sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado set to begin in January, it will be easy to forget that our medical marijuana system ever existed.

But Denver Post reporter Eric Gorski's story on Sunday reminded us why it is important for state regulators to get their act together and oversee the doctors who recommend medical marijuana for patients. ...

A more measured marijuana approach — Casper Star-Tribune Editorial

Take a stance that marijuana should remain an illegal drug — as dangerous as heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine -- and the argument doesn't seem to match the reality and experience of many folks.

Advocate for marijuana legalization, and soon you'll be characterized as a druggie.

That's the problem with even broaching the topic of marijuana — there seems to be so little middle ground where you can have a conversation that doesn't have hypercharged rhetoric and exaggerated claims on both sides. ...

Obama administration overdue in addressing state marijuana laws — Seattle Times Editorial

Nearly 10 months ago the voters of Washington and Colorado intentionally blew a hole in the failed federal prohibition of marijuana. We are still waiting for a response from the Obama administration. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. ...

Equal marriage, stronger families — Santa Fe New Mexican Editorial

... The threat to traditional marriage is not from gay men and women seeking to join their unions in holy matrimony. The threat to traditional marriage is society’s attitude that marriage is disposable. In fact, the desire of gay couples to join in this most traditional of institutions might awaken straight couples to the importance and sanctity of marriage. That would be a benefit all parties could celebrate.

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