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Newsletter Vol. # 30 That's how I see it!

Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter

What you'll find in this weeks newsletter: a sensitive topic in Canada-Marijuana; some over-the-top self-promotion; stupid can be funny; and a response to a Reader' Response.


Marijuana

Traditionally my stance on this drug has been: don't legalize it but don't make it a criminal offence for those who do use it (does not include distributors). I guess that's not really much of a stance, kind of wishy-washy.

Ken MacQueen, in MacLean's, makes some very good points and I will share with you some of the highlights from his article.

The coalition of drug experts, affiliated with the Centre for applied research in mental health and addiction at Simon Fraser University, calls the increasing emphasis on drug criminalization under the Conservatives an " overwhelming failure." The high marijuana use by Canadian minors is just one unintended consequence of the current drug laws, it concludes. " Prohibition abdicated responsibility for regulating drug markets to organized crime and abandons public health measures like age restrictions and dosing controls."

Perhaps it's time to take a hard look at tossing out a marijuana prohibition that dates back to 1923-a Canadian law that has succeeded in criminalizing successive generations, clogging the courts, wasting taxpayer resources and enriching gangsters, while failing to dampen demand for a plant that is far more benign than alcohol or tobacco.

In 1923 Canada became one of the first countries in the world to outlaw cannabis, giving it the same status as opium and other narcotics. Earlier drug legislation was largely based on a moral panic, racist sentiment and a notorious absence of debate.

A recent Senate report, like the royal commission on the non-medical use of drugs chaired by Gerald LeDain in the early 1970s, concluded that criminalization of cannabis had no scientific basis, but its use by adolescents should be discouraged.

In 2002 the Senate report recommended legalization, as well as amnesty for past convictions, adding: " we are able to categorically state that, used in moderation, cannabis in itself poses very little danger to users and to society as a whole, but specific types of use represent risks to users," especially the " tiny minority" of adolescents who are heavy users. Generally, though, the great harm was not in cannabis use, the Senate stated, but in the after-affects of the criminal penalties.

Putting emotions, fears and rhetoric aside, the case for legalizing personal use of cannabis hangs on addressing two key questions. What are the cost and the social impact of marijuana prohibition? And what are the risks to public health, to social order and personal safety of unleashing on Canada a vice that has been prohibited for some 90 years?

The World Health Organization survey of 15,000 Canadians, found 28% of Canadian children (aged 11, 13, and 15) tried marijuana in the past 12 months, the highest rate among 29 nations. A health Canada survey puts the average age of first use of pot at 15.7 years and estimates that the number of "youth" (ages 15 - 24) who have tried pot at a lower 22%.

UNICEF called child marijuana use a "... significant concern" for reasons including possible impacts on physical and mental health as well as school performance. Canadian youth, it's speculated, believe occasional pot use is of little risk to health, and " less risky than regular smoking of cigarettes." UNICEF warned, however, of significant punitive risks to pot use, expulsion from school and arrest. It noted 4700 Canadians between ages 12 to 17 were charged with cannabis offences in 2006. " Legal sanctions against people generally lead to even worse outcomes," the report said, " not improvements in their lives."

Nor do Canada's sanctions curb under age use. Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands are all countries where pot use has been decriminalized, legalized or liberalized, and all have rates of child cannabis abuse that range from one-third to more than one-half lower than in Canada.

Interestingly, tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use by Canadian children have all declined significantly since the last WHO survey in 2002. Perhaps we underestimate the common sense of our young people. Canada's teens have at least chosen a safer vice in pot-apart from its illegality-then either alcohol or tobacco. It is said that pot is not physically addictive (though people can become psychologically dependent) and it is less toxic than either tobacco or alcohol.

Here is another perspective on marijuana from C. Gwendolyn Landolt, National VP, Real Women of Canada, she states,

Marijuana is a mood-altering drug capable of producing dependency and adverse effects on memory, learning and behaviour. It also contributes to increased traffic accidents. The US national Highway traffic safety administration found that between 3 and 11% of those fatally injured in car accidents had marijuana in their blood and that 70% of those had both marijuana and alcohol in their blood. A study in done in August 2012 found that adolescents who, before 18 years of age, regularly smoked marijuana and continued for years afterwards, showed an average decline in IQ of eight points. According to the British Lung Foundation, smoking one marijuana joint a day for a year is as bad for your lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day for a year. It is unrealistic to assume that decriminalizing marijuana, and taxing it as alcohol and tobacco are tax today, will create an economic bonus if decriminalized, the increased use will result in higher healthcare and social costs, as has occurred with alcohol and tobacco use. Legalizing marijuana is no solution.

Ashley Prest, Winnipeg Free Press, reports on a study entitled National study links adolescent marijuana use with higher risk of psychosis.
This study revealed that smoking marijuana, particularly heavy use in early adolescence, increases the risk of psychosis by as much as 40%. Psychosis, one of the symptoms of schizophrenia, is often characterized by hallucinations and delusions. The study, called the Cannabis and Psychosis Awareness Project, showed marijuana use in youth who were prone to psychosis-mental illness in the family-makes them four times more likely to develop psychosis.

So, what do I think about this marijuana issue? Do you agree with Mr. Trudeau and his push for legalization?

Maybe I'll just have a drink and think it over.

Let's hear what you have to say about this issue. danrosin@drcounselling.com


 Every step up a stair adds four seconds to your life


Now for a bit of blatant self promotion about my first book, "Finding Balance..." I am informing you about this book and encouraging you to purchase it as a Christmas gift for someone you care about-yourself or others, for two reasons: 1. The book will encourage you or the other someone to take better care of self, 2. I will be offering my second book "Communication & Relationships" ' free' to all those who purchased my first book, right after I release my second book.

So, if you need sometime to decipher what you just read, you have it-my second book won't be released until late 2016, but when it is released it will be free to my Newsletter people who have purchased Finding Balance.

It's really ok with me if you inform and encourage all your E-mail contacts to start receiving the Newsletter (so they to can receive their "free" Communication & Relationships... when it is released).
   
            Finding Balance: 101 concepts for taking better care of self
                                            Dr. Dan Rosin


I have been an educator, counsellor, and therapist in Manitoba for more than 50 years. Throughout my career I have worked with stressed and burned out professionals, helping them to achieve personal wellness while still excelling in the workplace. This book was written for those individuals!

Over the years, I have penned many articles on the subject and have conducted numerous workshops, speaking to thousands of people on the effects of stress, the promotion of wellness, the development of in-house prevention teams - all to encourage people to take better care of themselves.

Finding Balance... is a collection of short stories, insights, and concepts designed to help readers develop healthier attitudes toward life and work, relationships, and the achievement of well-being. This is a very personal book in that you will see yourself in, a general sense, in many of the stories and concepts.

People are purchasing this book for the following reasons:
-To better understand the stressors in their lives, their driven behaviour, and how best to be 'in charge' of their lives,
-To discover more about self and in particular, why they don't take better care of self,
-To alter their perspective so they can see 'change' as a positive thing instead of something to be avoided, and
-To achieve their objectives and become healthier, happier, and in balance.

Finding Balance: 101 concepts for taking better care of self originally published in 2002 as I can have fun on a school night! To date the book has sold over 10,000 copies and E-books. I am proud of the impact the book had on so many readers (See Testimonials: www.drcounselling.com). Author House in the United States has published the new edition.

I hope the new title and revisions to the text will reach a new generation of readers in Manitoba as well as readers in the rest of Canada and the U.S. Our Lives are becoming increasingly complex and busy and I think the book is as relevant today as when I first published it.

To order: Web page: www.drcounselling.com  

For more information, contact me at 299-9399 E-mail: danrosin@drcounselling.com



Adults Say the Darnedest Things!

If you ever feel a little bit stupid, just dig this up and read it again; you'll begin to think you're a genius.

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?
Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."
--Miss Alabama Miss USA contest and she won
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"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."
--Mariah Carey
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"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life."
--Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign



Reader Response

"You need an editor!" And I thought I was the master of the stating of the obvious. I know... it's it's...because you care Reader.

Yes I do need an editor! I also need to set more time aside to put together this project. Apparently sending the Newsletter out at 12:30 at night after a busy day and two days past my self-imposed send date and not proof read it one last time is not a good idea. So, I will consider doing better with the details in the future. If I am going to do this-be better stuff-I better dust off those old chestnuts in my head like "Always do your best" "If it's worth doing-it's worth doing well (in every situation)" and several other Directives that remind me that I am nowhere close to being perfect (Just when I thought I was getting better they drag me back in!)

However, in the future if you find an error in spelling or grammar (which is highly unlikely-mm!) consider that it is there just to see if your still paying attention, or I did it on purpose just to bug you.

What do you think- a bit too dramatic?


People who write for "the finished product" miss out on a whole lot of creative mistakes



After that blatant self-promotion bit and being dragged back into my demons of perfection and low self-esteem, I am pooped. I think I'll visit my therapist!
Have a great week!

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