Letter to the Editor

 These are true Yukoners It was Labour Day, the sun was shining, and the route along the Robert Campbell Highway scenic.

 These are true Yukoners

It was Labour Day, the sun was shining, and the route along the Robert Campbell Highway scenic.

A beautiful drive until my little car hit a little bump near Tuchitua, decided it had had enough and started disgorging transmission fluid.

My thanks to foreman Randy Trohak and the outstanding crew from Kledo Construction, who were doing roadwork in the area.

Arnie, from Okanogan, spotted the leak and waved me over, preventing the car from breaking down on the lonely stretch of road ahead.

Randy put his impressive skills as a mechanic to use, working under the car to get at the problem, and providing perspective (e.g. black transmission fluid is not good).

Using creativity and know-how — plus goo, and some twisted bolts Steve filed down for the purpose — Randy hammered out and patched up the transmission pan so the car could make the return trip to Whitehorse, and filled up the transmission fluid.

Lisa-Ann, who is also a talented carver from Watson Lake, gave me a feather she had carved, to remember the day, and Bibiana and the whole crew kept me in good spirits.

I really appreciate how helpful, conscientious and proactive the people from Kledo were. They just could not have done anything more (before closing the hood, Randy said, “Well, we may as well top up the windshield fluid we’re in here.”)

They really went the extra mile, and it made a huge difference. Their efforts are truly appreciated.

Linda Kolody

Whitehorse

…and more

great Yukoners

I just wanted to thank everyone that helped in the search for my dad, Dave Layzell.

I just got a call from Judy telling me that he is alive and safe and I have never been so relieved.

It has been a long week especially so far away and unable to get up there. Knowing there were so many caring and generous people there searching and helping Judy made it a little easier.

Communities come together in a time of crisis but the entire Yukon came together this past week for my family and I am so very thankful for that. I now know why my dad loves it there so much.

Thank you all for everything.

Sylvia Layzell

via e-mail

The pot proof is on

the web…

and in the head shop

Re Cannabis crusader calls on Whitehorse (the News, August 29):

Your item on Marc Emery’s visit to Yukon was entertaining and enlightening for the most part, but most readers would be left feeling a little confused as to the truth regarding cannabis (marijuana, pot, reefer, etc.) because both sides made claims.

Emery claimed that pot does not lead to worse driving, that it stimulates the creation of brain cells, ends morning sickness and does not cause lung cancer.

The local medical officer, Brendan Handley, refuted those assertions. Neither side cited any science supporting their positions, and therein lies the source of confusion.

The writer of the item could, of course, have prevented this confusion if they would have taken a quick look at the internet, where all of the science regarding pot is easily available at www.drugwarlibrary.com/schaffer, www.drugwardistortions.com, aand www.drugwarfacts.org.

To save the readers the trouble, I will summarize: pot has been shown to make drivers more cautious, as they are aware of their impairment.

That does not make them better drivers, neither does it make them worse drivers. The study was conducted by the insurance industry to determine whether there is any cause for concern in their industry. Their conclusion was that there is no concern.

Studies in Germany have found that pot smokers suffer less, not more lung and other cancers than non smokers, and they have demonstrated in the lab that cannabis kills tumour cells.

This has been known for at least 20 years, but suppressed by the Powers That Be for their own reasons.

It has also been shown to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s, and to stimulate growth of new brain cells. Pot’s anti-nausea properties are well known, and its use for morning sickness is just an example of this.

Whether the children of these births are more creative as Emery asserts, is not confirmed, however pot does stimulate creativity in adults, and their children, having been exposed to these creative parents would be expected to demonstrate more creativity than their non stimulated peers.

Other statements made by Emery can be likewise checked on these websites, or one could read the excellent book Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts by Lyn Zimmer, PhD and Dr. John P. Morgan, MD, which is readily available at your local head shop.

 When Handley made his comments, stating incorrectly that there are no studies backing Emery’s assertions, he exposed his ignorance.

Unfortunately, any health-care professional who has not taken the trouble to keep up on information available will continue to spew the party line due to this ignorance.

I suggest that Handley do some research prior to making any subsequent statements.

Bruce Symington

Medicine Hat, Alberta

Pot’s pros and cons

 not cut and dried

Dana Larsen’s quest to legalize marijuana has evidently caused him to be unfairly selective of which research literature he chooses to pay attention to.

The study that he quotes in his letter to the News on Wednesday, (Pot Debate) actually published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and not in the Journal of Clinical Psychology as he states, is indeed intriguing.

It shows that very high doses of cannabis-like substances might cause growth of neural stem cells in the hippocampal areas of rat brains, similar to the postulated effect of some antidepressant medications.

The point of this research article was to better understand the mechanisms of action of marijuana on the brain, to resolve some of the questions arising from conflicting studies on its effects, as well as to further the research on potential medical benefits of this drug.

I have no issue with the value of this study, and, in fact, also agree that marijuana offers a host of known and potential medical benefits.

Furthermore, I also believe that there is merit to arguments for decriminalizing the possession of marijuana, as long as it done in the context of a comprehensive drug strategy, just as the Canadian Medical Association has advocated for years.

What I do take issue with is the spurious generalization that a particular study on rat brains makes it safe, and even beneficial to smoke marijuana in large or chronic amounts.

Marijuana’s potential for harm is vastly underrepresented in today’s society, as opposed to the known harm from other illicit drugs, tobacco, or alcohol.

Among the many effects of concern I would like to remind readers of the following:

Marijuana’s ability to impair concentration and motor performance is much longer than the effect on mood, thus leading to impaired driving performance whilst under the impression that the drug has worn off. When tested for, marijuana has been found to be present in significant numbers of injured drivers.

There is an increasing and very worrying association between heavy use of marijuana in youth and later development of psychosis.

There is an association with use during pregnancy and neurodevelopmental problems and might lead to behaviour and cognitive difficulties in childhood.

If someone chooses to take marijuana recreationally, they should be fully aware of the risks associated with both short-term and long-term use.

If using marijuana medicinally, patients need to explore alternatives, be aware of the risks, and consult with their physicians.

As medical officer of health, I see it as my duty to present the best possible, unbiased information to the public to help them interpret risks and benefits that might apply to their health.

To someone running for public office, I would expect nothing less.

Brendan Hanley MD MPH, medical officer of health, Yukon