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Letter to the Editor: Jim Barnhart

By Staff | Jul 14, 2021

Dear Editor,

I have a question for the organizers and supporters of the Backhome Festival, the people of Wetzel county and the surrounding area, but I’d first like to set it up with a little info about my personal feelings on freedom.

I am a staunch supporter of freedom. I don’t believe government should be involved in or dictate anyone’s life that does not interfere with the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of another person. However, in this land we call free, we sure do have and make a lot of rules and laws to stifle freedom. One example of this is mandatory seat belts. While I believe in seatbelts and the benefit of wearing them, I don’t believe a person should be forced or have to pay a fine for not wearing them. Encouraged, yes, forced, No. As I often say, “My head, my windshield, if I want to stick my head through MY windshield, it should be MY business and no one else’s.”

Another area of disdain is drug laws. It never ceases to amaze me how grandma can be addicted to narcotic drugs all of her life and that is OK because she managed to convince some doctor that she needed it, but dare not let Joe smoke a joint of pot. I can’t believe society is so stupid that they didn’t learn a thing from the failures of prohibition. If people want to do drugs, they will. And if society takes steps to prevent certain drugs, then people will continue to use and be a burden on society in so doing. (Of course, I have heard that the legal system does quite well on the income generated by prosecuting/persecuting offenders)…I guess perhaps a viable logical reason for the continued stupidity. The fact is, for some strange reason, people pursue the forbidden. And, just like my quote about seatbelts, I have another about drugs….“If someone wants to die in a ditch with a needle if their arm, then they should be afforded that opportunity (Freedom).” In many cases, I believe the coddling and sympathy is part of the problem.

Now to my question: With the current attitude, hate and problems proposedly generated by and toward the illegal drug trade in our area, why would the local officials schedule and promote a Hippee drug fest complete with head shops on main to invite that activity to town?

Sincerely, Jim Barnhart

Sardis, Ohio