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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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Pot good. Booze bad. Speed kills. Sometimes ...

Here’s what you learn from reading more than one news source.

Sunday’s Salt Lake Tribune editorial holds out hope that, with enough real science, we might find ways that some forms of marijuana can improve, even save, lives.

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Sunday’s Deseret News editorial raises the alarm that alcohol abuse is a really, really bad thing.

On Vox, Ezra Klein (above) explains how there is a possibility that the best public health move we could make would be to move people away from alcohol and toward marijuana. And not just the medical kind.

And he figured that out without reading either the Trib or the DNews.

Primary Children’s takes welcome step toward understanding marijuana — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

"Seldom does an advanced society pride itself on its ignorance. But, for nearly half a century, the laws of the United States have effectively prevented any honest and useful study of the benefits and harms of various forms of the marijuana plant.

"Slowly, that attitude is changing. And Utah’s Primary Children’s Hospital is to be one of those to take a small but important step toward an understanding that can save lives. ..."

Public health officials worldwide are awake to the problems of alcohol abuse — Deseret News Editorial

" ... Fortunately, the state Legislature takes this problem seriously. Its balanced approach permits social drinkers to obtain a beverage, but discourages overconsumption, drunk driving and youth drinking. ..."

Be smart at 80 mph — Casper Star-Tribune Editorial board

" ... The higher speed limits haven’t equaled more crashes or speeding infractions, and they actually make it more likely that traffic travels at the same speed — a crash-reduction measure. That might seem counterintuitive, but the evidence bears it out.

"So let’s be smart about the boosted speed limit and keep in mind a few things: ..."

Some other health-related opinions:

Health care decisions should be left up to individuals — Robert Bennett | For The Deseret News

" ... It’s a highly emotional issue, but there’s an easy way out.

"Empower the individual. Take both the government and the employer out of the decision-making process. Change the tax law so that Hobby Lobby and every other employer can give its health care expenditures directly to its employees, tax free, empowering them to control their own money and pick their own plans. Those who want contraceptive coverage could buy it and those who don’t wouldn’t have to.

"This is the key concept of the bill I wrote with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore), a bipartisan effort that had 19 co-sponsors – 10 Republicans and 9 Democrats. The Obama administration chose to ignore us and instead push the government ever more deeply into the existing (but collapsing) system of employer controlled health care. ..."

Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling helps workers and employers — Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial

" ... In its decision to free Hobby Lobby and other closely held companies from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the Supreme Court removed one sliver of government’s new intrusion into employer-employee relationships, arrangements that have historically been private contracts between companies and individuals or unions. ..."

Hobby Lobby ruling shows why employer-based health care should end — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

With childhood vaccines, scientists try (again) to outwit fear — Oregonian Editorial

" ... scientists have only evidence and reason on their side. Anti-vaccine advocates have the Internet, bursting with conspiracy theories, fear-mongering and Jenny McCarthyism. It’s hardly a fair fight. ..."

Better nutrition labels, smarter choices — Denver Post Editorial

"If you’re like many Americans, a half cup of ice cream just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to indulgences.

"That’s the standard serving size ice cream companies must cite on labels meant to inform consumers how many calories they’re consuming and the nutrient content of the treat.

"If people want to figure out how many calories they’re actually tossing down, they are probably going to have to do some math.

"That’s one of the reasons the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposed changes to nutritional labels are a good idea. ..."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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