Al­co­hol and cigarettes worse than cannabis?

Waterloo Region Record - - Arts & Life - DEAR EL­LIE el­liead­

Q. Cannabis shouldn’t be around kids, but I’d bet can­cer-caus­ing sec­ond-hand cig­a­rette smoke is way worse for them to smell while walk­ing down a side­walk, etc. Also, we should prob­a­bly dis­cuss drink­ing al­co­hol to ex­cess in front of chil­dren.

Let’s face it, al­co­hol and cigarettes are worse than pot. Time will teach so­ci­ety this.

A. With the le­gal­iza­tion of cannabis in Canada in just a month (Oct. 17), the com­par­i­son of rel­a­tive risks of al­co­hol and cigarettes to chil­dren isn’t the main is­sue to con­sider for now.

We al­ready know that cannabis is slated to be­come big busi­ness, that it has recre­ational ap­peal and also that it has a grow­ing place in health care.

But its use by chil­dren — in­clud­ing teens and young adults — is the wor­ri­some as­pect that still needs strong at­ten­tion not only by par­ents but also by reg­u­la­tors, mar­keters and re­tail­ers.

Young people are, by na­ture, at­tracted to the new­est shiny thing.

Now, the cannabis in­dus­try and en­thu­si­asts like you have an op­por­tu­nity to be loud and clear about why smok­ing or in­gest­ing mar­i­juana is a se­ri­ous health risk for young people whose brains are still de­vel­op­ing.

Here’s in­for­ma­tion from the Gov­ern­ment of Canada’s own web­site on health ef­fects spe­cific to young people:

“Cannabis use that be­gins early in ado­les­cence, that is fre­quent and that continues over time is more likely to bring about harms. Some of those harms may never fully go away.

“Re­search shows the brain is not fully de­vel­oped un­til around age 25. This is be­cause THC, the sub­stance that gives the ‘high’ in cannabis, af­fects the same ma­chin­ery in the brain that di­rects brain de­vel­op­ment.

“The higher the amount of THC in cannabis, the more likely one is to be harmed by it.”

So, enough with how bad al­co­hol and cigarettes are for our kids and youth. Let’s get it right on cannabis.

Stuck in a love­less mar­riage

Q. I’ve been mar­ried for 30 years to my first love. I make her feel cher­ished and loved. But 10 years ago our sex life de­clined to once a month while her in­ter­est in so­cial me­dia took 40 hours weekly!

If I’d left her 10 years ago, I would’ve put my­self in a fi­nan­cially se­cure po­si­tion. Now, she’ll get half of ev­ery­thing, so I’m stuck.

I’m cost av­er­ag­ing and feel that I’m best off stay­ing in my mar­riage.

A. Well then, you might as well sleep with your ac­coun­tant.

You men­tion no dis­cus­sions to­gether about how you two could re­gain some in­ti­macy … and no seek­ing med­i­cal or coun­selling help to re­gain some needed phys­i­cal con­nec­tion.

Un­til you at least try, I pre­dict your bank book will be cold com­fort.

Tell her how you feel.

Re­la­tion­ship cour­te­sies

Feed­back: Re­gard­ing the young woman’s anger at her boyfriend for his past cheat­ing (Aug. 11):

Reader: “You seem to have sanc­tioned the guy’s cheat­ing and blamed her.

“What about if he had ‘gen­tly ex­plained’ to her that he needed re­as­sur­ance when she was spend­ing time with her friends?

“People don’t au­to­mat­i­cally ‘stray’ be­cause the other part­ner spends some time apart.

“She should move on and find some­one who won’t use ex­cuses and blame her for his be­hav­iour.”

El­lie: No, I don’t sanc­tion cheat­ing. But years of writ­ing this col­umn has shown that, out­side of in­cor­ri­gi­ble play­ers, most people stray for a rea­son, such as feel­ing their part­ner’s dis­tance.

She’s 22, with him since 17. She needed more time with her girl­friends.

I asked if she’d ex­plained this to him be­cause it’s a re­la­tion­ship cour­tesy.

I sus­pect that she’ll move on. That’s why I rec­om­mended that they take a break.

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