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Newsletter Vol. # 34 That's how I see it!

Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter.

What you'll find in this weeks newsletter: its only just begun-theLegalizing Marijuana Debate; do you have your Health Care Directive in place? Is coffee good or bad for you-Coffee And Health? A dictionary definition of "Guts And Balls"; Reader Response.

The Legalizing Marijuana Debate

I once heard a comedian suggest that we should be encouraging people to smoke more cigarettes and that it would mean more tax money, the smokers would die sooner and therefore there would be a great saving on retirement programs and the health care system would save millions. Is this what we want to do-save or make money at the expense of people's lives?

I feel this debate and movement towards legalizing marijuana is very similar to the comedian's suggestion. In other words let's legalize marijuana so as to provide more tax money for government coffers. Lets free up the courts and greatly reduce the police presence with this drug problem and save money. Everything is good, so why is it I'm having so much trouble with the idea of legalizing a drug we have been at war with for so many years. Were we so wrong in our beliefs about the detrimental effects of smoking such a drug, and now we have been shown "the truth" and it's okay? Perhaps?

Doug Fine, author of Too High To Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution, paints a picture of what it will look like in the US and Canada when marijuana is fully legalize. See what you think-agree/disagree- and give me some feedback.

            1. If pot is illegal, more people will use it.
In Portugal rates fell 2002 to 2006, after all drugs were legalized there in 2001. Similarly, 2011 Brown University-led study of middle and high school students in Rhode Island found no increases in adolescent use after the state legalized medical marijuana in 2006.

As for adult use, the numbers are mixed. A 2011 University of California at Berkeley study, for example, showed a slight increase in adult use. However, when the United States war on marijuana ends, the country is not going to turn into a Cheech and Chong movie. It is, however, going to see the transfer of as much as 50 per cent of cartel profits to the taxable economy.

             2. Law enforcement officials oppose legislation.
It is true many law enforcement lobby groups don't want to end America's most expensive war (which has cost $1 trillion and counting), but that's because they're the reason it's so expensive. In 2010, two-thirds of federal spending on the drug war, $10 billion, went toward law enforcement and interdiction. However, most law enforcers realize the harm caused by the current drug laws.

Since marijuana prohibition drives the drug war, these huge costs would end when federal cannabis laws change. Sheriff Tom Allman in Mendocino County, California, helped permit, inspect and protect local cannabis farmers in 2010 and 2011. When asked why, he replied "This country has problems: domestic violence, mass, poverty. Marijuana is it even in the top 10. I wanted off the front pages so I could deal with the real issues."

            3. Getting high would be the top revenue generator for the cannabis plant.Not likely! Cannabis is hemp and the greatest potential for hemp is not in smoking it but if the manufacturing of various products.

Jack Noel, who co-authored a 2012 industrial hemp task force report for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, says, "Within 10 years of the end of the war on drugs, we'll see a $50 billion domestic hemp industry." That's bigger than the $40 billion some economists predict legally smoked cannabis would bring in.

Foods such as serial salad dressing are the biggest US markets for hemp today, but industrial cannabis is the brightest future in the energy sector, where a Kentucky utility is planning to grow hemp for biomass energy.

            4. Big tobacco and big alcohol would control the legal cannabis industry.
Tomas Balogh, co-founder of the Emerald Growers Association     in Humboldt, California states, "We're creating an international brand (of cannabis), like champagne and Parmigiano cheese." He goes on to say, "When people ask me if the small farmer or the big corporation will benefit from the end of prohibition, I say, both. The cannabis industry is already decentralized and farmer-owned. It's up to the consumer to keep it that way." So Big Alcohol might control the corner store, but not as a fine-wine shop or the farmers market.

That's how Doug Fine and I see it!

In Canada, politically, there is movement towards legalizing marijuana and away from the hundred year laws that have made this drug a legal nightmare. Arguments which push for legalization include: "the will of the people", the incredibly high cost of prosecuting marijuana infractions, the tremendous loss of tax revenue, and the studies that show that if legalized we would not all become potheads.

So what do you think? Drop me an email at

How do you make friends later in life? With much difficulty! So just what do you do to make new friends: join a book club, a ski club, a curling team, create a theatre evening, get to the gym, in other words do activities and then talk about them with your new acquaintances.

Health Care Directive (HCD)

Is it because I am past middle age (way past) that I have become aware of these advertisements and articles encouraging me to make sure my will is up-to-date and/or to create something new called a Health Care Directive. I didn't seem to notice these end-of-life issues prior to my 65th birthday.

Wills you know about but I'm not so sure about the Health Care Directive, probably not so much. The HCD is a legal document, often referred to as a living will, and it gives direction to family and health care providers as to the kind and quality of healthcare you would choose if you still had a voice. It also identifies a person who knows your wishes and can speak for you-proxy.

This document not only gives you peace of mind, knowing your wishes about the kind of healthcare you want to receive at the end, but it also gives your family a level of comfort. There is comfort in knowing the answers to the difficult health questions when they have already been discussed and decisions have already been made.

Copies of the Health Care Directive can be given to your family members, proxy, family doctor, and take it with you to the hospital or where ever you reside. "It gives you a voice when you are no longer able to speak for your self." (Wave, March-April)

I really think a Health Care Directive is a good idea if you want to have a say at the End.      Search: Health Care Directive-Manitoba

That's how I see it!

In regards to getting depression under control: the "Big Pill" is a lifestyle; the "Little Pill" is medication.


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Coffee and Health   

Aside from tasting good (and smelling even better), coffee is believed to have a number of health benefits. You may not need a man in a white coat to tell you that your daily dose of caffeine counteracts fatigue and improves alertness and concentration, but did you know that research suggests coffee can lessen the risk of heart disease, Parkinson's disease and gallstones as well as act as a powerful antioxidant? So, is caffeine a health booster that actually tastes good? Well, not necessarily. For every researcher or health expert downing a double latte, there's another ordering green tea. What are we to think?

The Dark Side
Even more sinister links have been made between coffee and ill health. Various studies have concluded that avid coffee drinkers are more at risk of miscarriage and birth defects, osteoporosis, arthritis and heart disease. So, is our daily cup doing more harm than good?
Although several studies have cited caffeine intake a risk factor for osteoporosis and hip fracture in women, at least two European studies have reported that tea drinking protected against hip breaks.
Coffee - Gotta Have It!

We Canadians are a nation of coffee drinkers. I know because I have counted each one separately and there are at least 4 gazillion Tim Horton's across this country. Apparently Timmy sells 7 out of 10 cups of coffee sold in Canada.

I read in Jennifer Scott's column that if you want to reduce the calories you take in during coffee consumption, just "...add a couple of sprinkles of cinnamon to the coffee grounds after they are put in the coffee makers filter." No sweetener needed! This saves up to 46 calories a cup. Wow! Now I can have that extra chocolate cookie.

In 1937, Joseph-Armand Bombardier received his first patent for the development of a track vehicle for traveling over snow, later called theB7 snowmobile. 12 years later, his firm produced the first Ski-Do snowmobile and simultaneously created a new winter sport. Canadian Formula One world champion Gilles Villeneuve started his professional career as a snowmobile racer in Québec.

There IS a medical distinction between the "fatal" terms: "Guts" and "Balls". 
We've heard colleagues referring to people with "Guts", or with "Balls". 
Do they, however, know the difference between them?
Here's the official distinction, straight from the
British Medical Journal: Volume 323; page 295.
GUTS - Is arriving home late, after a night out with the lads,
being met by your wife with a broom, and having the "Guts" to ask:
"Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?"
BALLS - Is coming home late after a night out with the lads, smelling of perfume and beer,
lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the ass and having the "Balls" to say...
'You're next, Chubby!'
I trust this clears up any confusion. 
Again, Medically speaking, there is no difference in outcome; both are fatal!
                                                                                                   Thanks Phil

Reader Response

Thank you for taking the time to write and share these newsletters.  Very good reminders of the work we need to put in!

Nice newsletter, Dan! Happy New Year...
These are great topics - can't wait to read it.
Hope you are feeling better.

I particularly appreciate the piece about long-term relationships. I will be using that with one particular couple I'm working with at present, if that's OK with you.

 Have a great week and it certainly is okay to share the newsletter with in-laws, outlaws, and friends. To subscribe to the That's how I see it! Newsletter click on