Do Laura's Law now
Alfredo Aguirre's claim that “there's not enough money” to implement Laura's Law is disingenuous [“‘The black-robe effect,'” Oct. 19]. My understanding is that there's plenty of money available in the MHSA (Mental Health Services Act) fund and the county treasury. And the money saved from not putting the mentally ill in jails and hospitals should more than offset the costs involved to implement this law. Nevada County has implemented the law and proven this claim to be true.
The problem is that the Board of Supervisors has been swayed by the in-your-face tactics of the group of consumers who are against involuntary commitment under any circumstances and believe there's plenty of help already available to the mentally ill.
This thinking is not realistic. People who are seriously mentally ill are not going to seek help. Anyone who knows anything about mental illness knows this is the case. Only the most highly functional are capable of participating in recovery programs. The rest are on the streets, in jail or in the back bedrooms of their parents' homes. Unless someone actively seeks them out, they're not going anywhere for help— and maybe not even then. I know whereof I speak, having a son with schizophrenia and being involved in these issues for years.
We need the added authority of a court order in cases that clearly require it. Laura's Law is desperately needed for the good of the mentally ill, their families and the community. It's a good compromise, and it's a shame we have to wait until someone else gets killed to consider implementing it.
Glenda de Vaney,
The time is coming
Great article about what is happening right now with medicinal marijuana [“Through the haze,” Oct. 26]. I have always wondered when the federal government would have to give it up. History is a slow-moving beast. I think dispensaries will continue to operate, but most likely they will become private. I will watch with horror while this plays out, but I think we are about to overcome decades of negative perceptions about a plant. Thank you again, CityBeat, for covering the marijuana news in San Diego. We are the front lines for the cannabis movement at the moment. History is being made.
Occupy SD not waste-full
I will not use this space to proselytize regarding the Occupy movement except to state that I'm in full support. Apparently, the party line for ousting occupiers across the country is “unsanitary conditions contaminated with human waste.” I can't speak to conditions in other cities, but those in San Diego are something that I can address.
I've been down to the Occupy site at the Civic Center a number of times and every time have posted to one or more websites my kudos to the Occupy sanitation committee for maintaining such a pristine environment. Yes, there were chalked messages on the concrete, a long way from human waste and something easily eradicated by footsteps and the wind. But “human waste” is a phrase that impacts people viscerally and negatively and has proven very effective regardless of the reality.
I'm sure the SDPD had its reasons, but they were not the reasons fed to the media and to the public for raiding a peaceful protest in the middle of the night with batons, guns and riot gear.
Right down Occupy's alley
Thank you for your editorial supporting the proposed constitutional amendment that would allow federal and state governments to regulate how much money candidates for elected office can raise and spend [“The root of the problem,” Nov. 9]. Money in politics is indeed the root of many of the problems that ail our government. Reforming that system would go a long way toward supporting legislators to enact reforms to equalize the playing field for the 99 percent. I think this would be a great issue for the Occupy movement to get behind.