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Letters to the editor

Visit Melodeeville

On behalf of the Melodee House and West Mont, we would like to invite the Helena and surrounding communities to visit Melodeeville, the Department 56 Fantasy Land, at center court in the Capital Hill Mall throughout the holiday season. This is our annual fund raiser to benefit The Melodee House, which provides respite or short term care for individuals with disabilities and their families. The Melodee House does not receive any direct governmental funding and relies entirely on charitable contributions and through it's on-going use. On an annual basis the home now provides several thousand hours of care for families and their loved ones.

You will be captivated by glow of the Christmas villages and be sure not to miss the Legendary Ballpark display as well. In addition, enjoy an evening of food, fun, hors d'oeuvres and live auction of the villages on Dec. 9, from 6 until 9 p.m. If you would like to purchase a ticket, sponsor a building or would like more information about Melodeeville or respite services, call West Mont at 447-3100.

Season's greetings!

Richard Saravalli, West Mont

John Betts, Melodee House

2525 Colonial Dr.

Great programs

My wife and I recently traveled on the Success Express to show support for the Nov. 11 Great Ideas Grants program. We also attended the Great Conversations dinner held Nov. 17 at the Great Northern Hotel. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all that the Helena Education Foundation has and continues to do for this community.

HEF gave over $20,000 in grants to local teachers in six schools for submitting their "Great Ideas." These teachers have and will touch many students' lives with their "Great Ideas." I have traveled on the Success Express since its early development and have never been let down.

Our speaker at the Great Conversations dinner, Fred Flanders, did a wonderful job discussing and moderating his topic. To put on such an event, many hours and volunteers were put into this event to accomplish such greatness. The committee should be commended for their efforts.

The Helena Education Foundation does so much more for the community than the two events I have just talked about. As a major donor to the Helena Education Foundation, I would personally like to encourage more businesses and individuals to make HEF one of your priorities for next year and the years to come.

Trevor MacDonald, owner

Sandy Mac's Distributing, LLP

2727 Airport Road

Regarding pot

Regarding your thoughtful Nov. 30 editorial on medical marijuana, if health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms marijuana would be legal. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Marijuana can be harmful if abused, but jail cells are inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican migration during the early 1900s, despite opposition from the American Medical Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been counterproductive at best. White Americans did not even begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched government bureaucracy began funding reefer madness propaganda.

By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana providers in California, the very same U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that claims illicit drug use funds terrorism is forcing cancer and AIDS patients into the hands of street dealers. Apparently marijuana prohibition is more important than protecting the country from terrorism.

The following Virginia Law Review article offers a good overview of the racist roots of early marijuana legislation:

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Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

P.O. Box 59181

Washington, DC 20012

Jim Darcy fundraiser

November 20 was a busy, fun day for the Jim Darcy Elementary School. It was an incredible craft bazaar, silent auction, raffle and doughnut fundraiser. There were great crafts and products with over 40 venders. Many local businesses donated to our kitchen to allow food to be on hand for purchase. Thanks to Taco Treat, Van's Thriftway, Sweetheart Bakery, Wendy's, Coca-Cola, and Bob's Valley Market for your consumable contributions. We were able to raise hundreds of dollars for the school due to all of the local support. The list of businesses that donated items for our silent auction and raffle is incredible. A big thanks to these businesses for supporting the kids: AAA Mountain West Travel, Arbonne International, A-1 Rental, Broadwater Athletic Club, Budget Framer, Capital Laundry, Circus Twin, Corral West, D & J's Head to Toe Salon, Davis Business Machines, Emiliano's, Graham's Manufacturing, Grand Street Theatre, Great Divide Cyclery, Great Northern Carousel, Green Thumb, Grimes Motors, Grub Stake, Helena Phototgraphy, Helena Symphony, Los Cazadores, Montana Book Company, Montana Magazine, Murdoch's, Myrna Loy, Pan Handler, Paul's Office Product, Red Lion Colonial Hotel, Silver City Day Care, Staggering Ox, Valley Bank, Wingate Inn. Thank you Helena.

Jim Darcy PTA

Linda Brown, secretary

990 W. Lincoln Road

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