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Letters to the Editor Oct. 17, 2018: Ready or not, it’s legal. Plus other letters to the editor

Canada is now the world's largest country to have legalized marijuana.

LARS HAGBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Oct. 17, 2018: It’s legal now

Re Boomers, Remember The Risks Of Pot Use (Oct. 16): Contrary to assurances that “pot is not addictive,” one of the Health Canada warnings that will appear on all legal marijuana sold starting today is: “Warning: Cannabis can be addictive. Up to one in two people who use cannabis daily will become addicted.”

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James Wigmore, forensic toxicologist, Toronto

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André Picard highlights the Canadian Medical Association’s reservations around medical cannabis, due to what the CMA cites as a lack of solid evidence (Health Canada Is Wise To Retain The Old Medical-Cannabis Regime – Oct. 13). As medical cannabis use grows, evidence for where it is most effective will gradually come to light.

Moving into the mainstream for conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia, medical cannabis will remain separately regulated from recreational cannabis for at least five years – which is a good thing. Legalization should not blur the lines between its recreational and medical uses. Many patients feel the benefits of cannabis the same way they would a prescription or other form of medication. Experts are focusing on the clinical evidence to support uses of cannabis as a medical treatment, and to help guide prescribers with lines of therapy, strains, dosing etc.

Meanwhile, as patients document their clinical outcomes, experts are collecting and analyzing a treasure trove of data to better establish the health-care value of cannabis. In the end, these patients are the key to unlocking the potential of medical cannabis.

Helen Stevenson, CEO, Reformulary Group; a former assistant deputy minister of health and executive officer of Ontario public drug programs

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With marijuana now legal “thanks” to Justin Trudeau, I’ve written this in his honour. Sing it to the Beatles tune that includes the lyric: “I get high with a little help from my friends.”

What would you do if I rolled up a joint

Would you stand up and walk out on me?

Lend me your lungs and I’ll give you my bong

And you’ll think you’re the great Gretzky.

Oh, I get high with a little help from Trudeau,

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Oh, I’m gonna fly with a little help from Trudeau,

Oh, I’m in the sky with a little help from Trudeau.

Yes, it’s all so amusing now, but 20 years from today will the repercussions of legalization leave Canada wanting to get back to where it once belonged?

Terry Toll, Campbell’s Bay, Que.

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Last week, The Globe and Mail offered us a cross-Canada look at how far someone would have to walk to buy pot.

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My guess is that most users will drive to pick up their order – and if we are lucky, they won’t sample it until they get home. On the other hand, the benefit, unlike beer or alcohol, is that there are no empties to return … unless you count your head.

Kope Inokai, Toronto

What/who is ‘rogue’

Re Turkish Investigators Search For Khashoggi Clues In Saudi Consulate (Oct. 16): Jamal Khashoggi can be added to the list of Saudis who have disappeared under the new regime. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is sending a clear message to dissenters in or outside the country: The tyrannical status quo will not be questioned.

The latest atrocity raises ethical issues which might separate those countries, corporations and other institutions still willing to deal with Saudi Arabia because of the high monetary stakes, and those which take the high road and refuse. The Kingdom’s $110-billion arms deal with the United States is a case in point.

Saudi Arabia seems to be forever buying arms, arming itself to the teeth, as well as providing weapons for terrorist groups.

U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be soft-pedalling his way to a response when he refers to “rogue killers.”

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Perhaps the gullible will believe that a group of “rogue killers,” including an autopsy expert equipped with the grim tools of his trade, were able to enter Turkey with diplomatic passports and had no problem whatsoever getting into the Saudi consulate. They might also believe that the clean-up crew that went into the consulate were not there to remove forensic evidence.

It is time to apply the term “rogue” where it belongs: Saudi Arabia.

Jo Balet, Mississauga

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Based on Donald Trump’s theories in the Khashoggi case, prepare for a joint press release: “President Donald Trump and the Government of Saudi Arabia are pleased to confirm the existence of the tooth fairy. They cite as undeniable evidence that the Crown Prince discovered a gold coin under his pillow this morning that had been exchanged for a recently extracted molar left there the previous evening. The U.S. Secretary of State, sent there to examine the coin, confirmed its existence, and said he needed no further proof that the tooth fairy was real.”

Douglas M. Deruchie, Westmount, Que.

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Ontario power struggles

Re Ontario Faces Electricity Shortfall Within Five Years (Oct. 16): Unbelievable! The province will be facing a shortfall in electricity, yet for political expediency, the Conservatives cancelled renewable energy projects. It’s the gas plant scandal all over again – only this time, the PCs are at fault.

At a time when we desperately need good government, cynical and costly decisions such as this one erode democracy. Why vote when all you get are self-interested bozos? It’s heartbreaking.

Carol Town, Hamilton

Taxation showdown

The debate about the carbon tax is not actually about the carbon tax. Both provincial and federal governments tax carbon; the Ontario tax on gas is 14.7 cents a litre, the federal one is 10 cents. The debate is not about climate change, because both governments represent the same Canadians.

The debate is about whether Ottawa can force provinces to collect a tax to fulfill its own objectives, in other words, a “federal” tax. Ottawa could have raised its own tax in the 2016 budget and fought climate change. It chose instead to attempt to have the provinces do the dirty work while claiming credit for it.

Now we have court battles, political battles, ideological battles, name-calling, the threat of federal taxes in some provinces but not others, the reality of different regimes across the land, and three lost years in actually reducing pollution.

Another question remains: Can Ottawa even collect that tax while its constitutionality is being tested in the courts?

Ed Whitcomb, Author, Rivals for Power: Ottawa and the Provinces, the Contentious History of the Canadian Federation; Ottawa

Hmm …

Re With Cheers For A Three-Month-Old, B.C. Joins Alberta As The Only Provinces Permitting Children To Sit With Parents In Legislature (Oct. 15): With children now allowed to sit in the Legislature, I wonder what effect, if any, this will have on the maturity of the house.

Rick Walker, Toronto

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