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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wants to see pot legalized, taxed and regulated, a stance that has drawn the ire of the Conservative government but applause from pot activists. (JEFF McINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wants to see pot legalized, taxed and regulated, a stance that has drawn the ire of the Conservative government but applause from pot activists. (JEFF McINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

WHAT READERS THINK

July 29: Legal pot’s ironies – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Legal pot’s ironies

I find it amusing that the Conservatives consider Justin Trudeau’s position on the legalization of pot to be “irresponsible,” with the PMO citing “the harmful effect … on users and on society” (Trudeau Embraces Legal Pot As Liberals, NDP look to 2015 – July 26).

How ironic. Is this the same government that currently profits from the sale of alcohol and tobacco, and seemingly turns a blind eye to devastating environmental issues, including irresponsible fish farming practices, the misguided use of genetically modified crops and the proliferation of pesticides?

If indeed pot does disconnect you a little bit from the world, one would assume that the Conservatives have been smoking it for years.

Theresa Jerrard, Bobcaygeon, Ont.

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Justin Trudeau as Liberal Leader is advocating the legalization of marijuana: It is heartening to hear a political leader admit to having his views evolve.

I would bet there are Conservatives spinning like uncontrolled missiles even at the reference to the term “evolution.”

Bruce Henry, Brampton, Ont.

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If this comes to pass, will pot be sold with the same health warnings as tobacco? Why would anyone think it’s a good idea to suck smoke into their lungs with what we know about the link between cancer and smoking?

Elizabeth Nguyen, Vancouver

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Hey. Your article about … what’s his name? The guy who wants to legalize pot. I totally agree because … whatever. I’ll get back to you.

Irwin Silverman, Toronto

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Feeble explanation

Re Ex-TDSB Head Spence Speaks Out On Plagiarism Scandal (July 26): In my experience as someone who has investigated academic plagiarism several times during my career, the actual plagiarism is often committed by a subordinate (grad student, post-doc, research assistant etc.).

But as Chris Spence indicated, that does not in any way absolve him of the full responsibility. If it is under Dr. Spence’s name, the responsibility is his, period.

The alleged pattern of multiple instances over time suggests that this explanation that he “also had some support” and that others share in the misdeeds is a red herring. Perhaps Dr. Spence should not have broken his silence, since his feeble “explanation” has made matters worse in my view.

Michael A. Wosnick, Richmond Hill, Ont.

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The Queen’s oath

Re Our Case Against The Queen’s Oath (July 26): There is no case to be made for permanent residents to pick and choose sections of the citizenship oath. Canadian citizenship is a privilege, not a right.

For those who emigrate here, becoming a citizen entails a promise to abide by our laws and respecting our political order, which happens to be a constitutional monarchy.

Affirming loyalty to Her Majesty does not “constrain” anyone from criticizing our form of government. However, it does indicate a willingness to play by the rules.

If Peter Rosenthal’s clients object to pledging allegiance to a sovereign, there are plenty of republics that will not force them to do so to accept them as citizens. North Korea, Cuba and Zimbabwe come to mind, for starters.

David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, St. Catharines, Ont.

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Remembered war

Re: Before Giving up on Afghanistan, Consider The ‘Forgotten War’ (July 26): One of the most heroic achievements of a Canadian unit in the Korean War was the holding of the line at the Battle of Kapyong, by the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, in April, 1951.

On the night of April 24, fighting against the overwhelming numbers of Chinese and North Korean troops was so fierce, friendly artillery fire was called down by the Patricias on their own position atop Hill 504, to stop being overrun. The next morning, they were almost out of food and worse, ammunition.

The unit subsequently received rare military recognition – the U.S. Presidential Distinguished Unit Emblem, still worn by battalion members.

More significantly, in 2014, the Regiment celebrates its 100 years of service to Canada.

Bruce Stock, ex 2PPCLI, London, Ont.

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David Bercuson seems to suggest Canadians can share credit for South Korea’s present success. It would be wrong to do so.

The Korean War devastated the country. Millions of Korean civilians died. Even Prof. Bercuson concedes that vicious military governments ruled the South for decades afterward.

Only the heroic struggle of Korean students and workers in the eighties brought authoritarian rule to an end, an upheaval in which “we” took no part. Canada’s Korean War record is irredeemable.

Ryan Hardy, Toronto

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David Bercuson, in his consideration of the “forgotten war,” states that “there were no significant battles” between the fall of 1951 and the armistice in July, 1953.

The Third Battle of the Hook on the night of May 28, 1953, seemed fairly significant to me – I guess you had to be there.

Peter Edwards, C Squadron, 1st RTR, Toronto.........

Ontario overkill

Re Wynne, Clark Discuss Wine Bans (July 26); Food Trucks Approved For Five City Parks (July 26): Wine and food are two of life’s great pleasures.

Unfortunately, in Ontario they face a perfect storm of political pettiness, ludicrous bureaucratic overkill and businessmen who fear a hint of competition.

Toronto food trucks are told what, where and when they can sell and are getting political push-back from restaurateurs – who only number about 7,000 and counting.

In the case (no pun intended) of wine, we are told that provincial trade barriers are needed to protect our multibillion-dollar industry from the B.C. baddies.

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine – Yours to Discover.

Tim Jeffery, Toronto

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It’s ‘mister’

Re Call Me Dave – Mr. Eddie Is My Father (Life & Arts, July 26): Why pick on kids? Everybody is calling adults by their first names. On the phone, in writing, even at the bank machine, you’re addressed by your first name.

It didn’t use to be this way. Good manners have existed for centuries. In all cultures, there are rules about the way people are approached and addressed. This first-naming practice arose just a few years ago. Like a prairie fire, it has spread with a strong wind behind it. A hospital employee tells me they were told to use first names.

This practice is presumptive, intrusive and disrespectful. It is arrogant because the speaker declares solidarity, intimacy and equality before they have been established.

The doctor’s secretary who calls out “William” in the waiting room is assaulting me. She has no right to invade the privacy of my being.

Mister is my name.

William J. Samarin, Toronto

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