Here’s my take on some of the top news stories of last week.

Historic designation can be good, especially for businesses and nonprofits that can get special funding for historic renovation, but for the individual homeowner it can be devastating.

Historic designation means that all renovations or repairs you make to your home have to go through governmental channels first and must be approved. Everything must look like the original, which in most cases are extremely more expensive. For example windows generally have to be made from wood frames and double pane thermo windows are generally out of the question because if you can find them, the price—which is extremely high anyways—will be astronomical. Also when you go through government, instead of being able to use the person you know that does most of your work or do it yourself, now almost everything has to be done by a certified person, which leads to even more cost.

Bottom line a lot of people simply can’t afford to repair or remodel their homes in Historic Designated areas, which leads them to selling at a lower price than they would have liked or abandoning their home. Government officials need to take a closer look at Historic Preservation Designations throughout the city and be very careful as to where they make these designations. Wherever they have it they should make sure middle- and low-income homeowners are assisted instead of being pushed out.

Only 500 people showed up at the End the War on Drugs in D.C. There should have been more than 500 from D.C. alone. This was a major surprise especially with the national outcry to end the War on Drugs. It may be because the protesters are not totally clear on how they want the War on Drugs ended.

My take is they want all arrests for marijuana possession ended. They want the sentences for crack and cocaine to be the same.

I would say make all sentences the same for possession of illegal drugs, except marijuana. If it’s illegal, it’s illegal? So why the difference? Or simply not prosecute people for possession at all, only if it’s proven they intended to sell it.

I am a strong advocate of legalizing marijuana, which would clean out a lot of jails, and free up police officers to concentrate on hard drugs and crimes with victims. The last time I checked drug dealers aren’t forcing people to use drugs at gunpoint. In most cases the users are almost forcing dealers to sell them the items at gunpoint.

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