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Letters to the Editor Oct. 5: About that marijuana script. Plus other letters to the editor

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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About that script

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Re Trudeau's Plan For Marijuana Tax Catches Premiers Off Guard (Oct. 4): If a year ago I had heard about a TV show about government leaders meeting to divvy up the proceeds of marijuana sales, I'd have thought it was a pilot whose plot, though wildly fictional, had some comic potential.

Wait! I just watched an episode. But it was an item … on the news.

Hermas D'Souza, Brampton, Ont.

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Price of violence

Re Trump, Hypocrisy And U.S. Gun Laws (Oct. 4): I support Donald Trump. Gun control is not the answer to the mass killing in Las Vegas. Someone bent on mass murder can always carry out his plans using illicit weapons.

The right to bear arms is fundamental to a society of freedom-loving individuals, who do not wish to be cowed by an armed government, and gun violence is the price that must be paid in defence of individual freedom.

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Jiti Khanna, Vancouver

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Stricter gun laws would reduce the out-of-control gun violence, but not eliminate it. America also glamorizes violence: from Hollywood's gore porn to the popularity of violent video games to militarization of sports. Equally desensitizing is the societal acceptance of state-sanctioned violence in the form of "regime changes" as well as the tacit acceptance of atrocities perpetuated by U.S. allies. Until Americans begin confronting their violence-accepting culture, the frequent mass killings will remain as predictable as tomorrow's sunrise.

John Dirlik, Pointe Claire, Que.

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Tax-reform paths

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Re Canada Finds Itself At A Crossroads In Tax Reform And It's Time To Choose A Path (Report on Business, Oct. 2): A comfortably tenured professor can write, "Let business be business and pensions be pensions." But for most small-business people, there can be no separation of the two.

As an incorporated specialist physician, I've made the maximum possible contributions to my RRSP since my twenties and invested to the best of my abilities – yet my self-made pension and retirement lifestyle will pale in comparison to those of a tenured professor. I cannot afford to just let the issue be; I do agree, however, that something should be done. I await the professor's suggestions on how to tax the generous benefits of salaried government employees, along with how to make the tax contribution of a family with two $40,000-a-year earners equal to that of one $80,000 income.

Stephen Wiseman, MD, Vancouver

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Rich people's problems: A doctor cited in Diagnosing The Anger Of Canadian Doctors (Sept. 30) as being upset over threatened tax changes earns nearly $225,000 a year after overhead and has a stay-at-home husband – a teacher – who looks after their children. The $250,000 student debt the doctor owes totals about a year's pay (as, mine did, four decades ago) and should be long paid off.

When the kids get older, her husband will go back to work in a job that pays well and has a pension, while she continues putting money into his and hers tax shelters, and in various financial instruments that paid advisers may recommend.

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My concern is for families scrambling to make ends meet and feed the kids on a truly middle-class income (a third of this doctor's), and for minimum-wage workers, of whom it would take nearly a dozen scraping their hours together to earn as much.

James Russell, Ottawa

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Punishment weighed

Re Judgment, Response (letters, Oct. 4): What kind of society have we become? A respected professor with years of service is forced to resign his position at Toronto's Massey College because he made a stupid, ill-considered remark, for which he tried to apologize.

A judge walks into court wearing a Trump hat as a joke, and ends up in a hearing before the Ontario Judicial Council. He nearly loses his position and his reputation, notwithstanding years of service to the legal community – all because of one dumb effort at humour. Both acts were stupid, however, they were not done to hurt or offend, but in jest. Yet the consequences in both cases were enormous. Whatever happened to proportionality in sentencing?

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Are we losing our minds, or just our sense of humour?

Alf Kwinter, Toronto

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Prof. Michael Marrus should lose his leadership position for his remarks to a student. Can one not look at this in parallel to the professor's own field of study – the Holocaust? If roles were reversed and he had been presented with a similar statement about the Holocaust, would it not have been outrageous to him?

If we are going to move forward as a nation, our academic leaders have to be leaders. The comment Prof. Marrus made is inexcusable; the response by the university and college is not an overreaction. No tolerance to racism is the only way forward.

Sarah MacDonald, Vancouver

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Prof. Michael Marrus's effort at humour was misguided, but it was not made with cruel intent.

I do not believe there is any evidence that Prof. Marrus, over the course of his long career, has ever acted in a demeaning fashion toward others. However, a petition demanding his resignation has resulted in him tendering it.

As a former teacher and a human of colour, I view the response to this unfortunate incident as one of overreaction.

I am left wondering why the situation could not have elicited discussion and reconciliation between these two members of Massey, and pertinent, extensive discourse among its members.

Surely, this should have been turned into an insightful exchange and learning experience. Instead, it has resulted in an example being made of Prof. Marrus, hitherto considered a respectful and respected member of Massey. Does the punishment fit the crime?

Lancelyn Rayman-Watters, Toronto

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Pay by distance

It is time for a new regime of distance-sensitive fares for all transit (Commuters Who Transfer Between GO Transit And TTC To Get Fare Discount – Oct. 4). Riders would "tap" off transit as they disembark, as well as tap on when boarding, giving the system much richer user data, as well as being able to compute the cost of each "leg" of a trip, including for ride-sharing and bike-sharing links.

It would make revenue-sharing agreements between systems obsolete. And it is simpler – and fairer – than the current emphasis on unlimited-use passes (monthly, weekly, and those provided by transfers of usually 90 minutes).

Chris Bradshaw, Ottawa

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There, and not

Re Seeing Hillary Clinton Live Was My Mother's Woodstock (Sept. 30): If you can remember Woodstock, you probably weren't there. If you can remember Hillary losing, you probably wish you weren't there.

Douglas Cornish, Ottawa

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