Letters to the Editor, Jan. 26, 2020

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 26, 2020


Epidiolex, a form of medical marijuana, is REAL medicine

To the editor,

Facts easily refute April Anderson’s claim (letter 1/22/20) that medical marijuana is not REAL medicine.

Our son is taking Epidiolex, a form of medical marijuana taken in oil form to prevent seizures. He doesn’t take it to get high or drunk, and he doesn’t eat brownies or smoke pot.

This medication was prescribed by Ilo Leppik, M.D., a REAL well-trained, world-renowned epileptologist at the University of Minnesota Mincep clinic.

This medication was well-researched and approved most carefully by the FDA, a REAL ethical government agency. FDA approval allows him to take Epidiolex legally in South Dakota with a prescription from his physician.

Epidiolex is carefully measured and distributed by REAL pharmacists from a REAL and reputable specialty pharmacy, Accredo.

Epidiolex has drastically reduced the frequency of my son’s severe seizures, his visits to the doctor and ER, and his insurance claims. He, hands down, has a healthier lifestyle.

Before spreading the stigma associated with medical marijuana, let’s get the facts straight!

Janice Knutsen and Roger S. Knutsen, M.D., Rapid City

Very disappointed in our government

To the editor,

I own many guns and am an avid hunter. I am also an honorably discharged Vietnam Veteran (drafted) and very active in South Dakota's National Alliance for mental Illness or NAMI.

With this said, I must say I am very, very, disappointed in our current legislature. I have approached a number of legislators asking if they would sponsor a simple bill. It would prohibit the future sale of any magazine clip which has the capacity to hold more than six bullets. It would not impact the ownership of any firearm or these clips, but would prohibit any future sale. There are similar laws already in place - you must have your shotgun plugged so it can only hold three shells when hunting waterfowl. We have been fortunate here in South Dakota not to have encountered any mass shootings. If limiting the number of bullets within any firearm saves one life, it is good legislation.

It is apparent the NRA wields so much power, influence, and money that any common sense gun control legislation is doomed. I am attempting to do something but cannot find a single sponsor. This discussion must occur before we have our own tragedy. If there is one legislator willing to discuss, please contact me. May you have a Safe and Blessed 2020.


David L. Braun, Attorney, Pierre

What A Joy

To the editor,

The other night my wife and I attended a Thunder Hockey game my grandson was playing in and down a few rows a lot of young students were congregating in the stands. Usually, when you see this type of gathering, the first thing that comes to mind is trouble of some sort. But, to our surprise, they started to do cheers for the Thunder team. Not wimpy cheers, but loud and organized cheers, and they were very good at it. It sure made the game a lot more exciting for us, and I am sure all the other fans in the arena. I, being the most mesmerized of all. So, for all those great young people, a job very well done. I sure hope to see them again. Remember, never judge people by their age or gender until you have a reason to.

Jerry Mehrer, Rapid City

Our water is threatened

To the editor,

Did you know that Pactola and Rapid Creek are threatened by toxic mining projects? Would you like to have a drill rig running 24/7 across your driveway? Lights, truck traffic, road destruction, right in your back yard? And while all this is happening on the surface, underground the company would be withdrawing significant amounts of water from the aquifers which are the source of ALL water in the Black Hills.

This is what is being faced by residents of Silver City, at the west end of Pactola. F3 Gold out of Minneapolis has proposed gold exploration on public land just up the gulches from Pactola.

F3 asserts that this is “just” exploration. But of course the goal is—an actual mine. This will not console residents of Silver City, or anyone who is familiar with spills and acid mine runoff, two of the greatest threats from mining.

A mine at Pactola would compromise our most precious resource—water. Pactola is a treasured recreation site, and the source of Rapid City’s water supply. It was built on land sacred to our Lakota relatives, who say “Water is Life.” Go to Protect Pactola on FB to learn more.

Carol Hayse, Nemo

A yes vote is critical

To the editor,

I work with RC youth every day as a licensed clinical [child] psychologist. While certainly a yes vote will benefit children with typical learning styles, physical abilities, and social-emotional-behavioral-academic needs, a yes vote is critical to meeting the needs of children with learning disabilities, ADHD, speech-language needs, Autism, physical impairments, etc. Currently, some children with physical disabilities are not able to attend their home school due to lack of physical infrastructure. For children with different needs, the smaller the classroom size the better and current class sizes don’t fit that bill. Some current schools do not have the ideal spaces for speech services, 1:1 testing, sensory breaks, etc. that are needed for services to these kids.

Some schools are outdated and crumbling. I pray not, but should any one school experience a fire due to electrical issues, a cave-in due to weakening infrastructure, water break, etc., we’d have intense overcrowding to move kids to another school, increased expense due to building in the immediacy, and unnecessary inconvenience to our kids. Let’s take care of our district’s growth needs and infrastructure needs before we have an even bigger crisis. vote yes to supporting our kids’ continued safety and learning needs!

Trisha Miller, Rapid City

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