Marijuana hurts communities

Gov. Kristi Noem is leading South Dakota to a better place. As a businessman in Spearfish, I am continuously reminded of how recreational use of marijuana and alcohol interferes with employee productivity and an individual’s ability to provide for himself or herself.

Marijuana use is detrimental for the individual using it. Marijuana is detrimental to the individual’s children. Marijuana is detrimental to the citizens of the community in which the user resides. South Dakota is a better place when we enforce laws restricting the use of marijuana.

Scott Stampe


See Christ in the border children

I just read the AP article on the trauma and mental health issues suffered by migrant children separated from their parents at our southern border. These stories, like so many others coming out of the migrant detention centers, are heartbreaking.

Then I read the Facebook comments attached to the article. It's hard to say which reading was more difficult, because it is equally heartbreaking for me to read so many callous replies to the injury of these innocent children. Yes, parents brought their children to the border, but this trauma was inflicted on them by U.S. government policies. Yes, they were coming without visas, but seeking "asylum" is a legal right and the majority of these migrants are fleeing violent situations in Central America that decades of U.S. government intervention helped create.

Yes, there are many U.S. children in traumatic situations, and we should make efforts to help them, but that doesn't alleviate our responsibility to the migrant children in our custody.

As a pastor, I see Christ in these children (Matt.25:35,43) crying from their crosses. God's heart breaks with them and God demands a compassionate response from us (Lev. 19:34, 27:19, Deut. 10:19, Ps. 146:9, Zech 7:9-10).

The Rev. Erik Thone

Rapid City

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