- - Friday, July 25, 2014

If their goal is to fight obesity, perhaps residents of San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., should place a huge tax on marijuana, since the drug is known to make people hungry (“The food police trying to arrest soda, again,” Web, July 21). Protecting children through nutrition education, keeping soda and candy machines out of schools and insisting on school lunches that limit high-sugar and high-fat foods is reasonable, but when it comes to adults, the government’s role should be limited to outlawing fraudulent advertising and to providing factual information.

A “nanny state” that tries to prevent adults from engaging in risky behavior, whether it involves smoking, drinking, eating choices or climbing Mount Everest, promotes a “victim” culture in which people are encouraged to blame someone or something else, and discouraged from taking responsibility for their own actions.

SUSAN ALTMAN

Washington