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                   Proverbs 20:1 (KJV) says:  “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”             There is no doubt that the sales of alcohol and cannabis are ‘raging’ in our covid season. While studies may vary somewhat on the numbers there is general consensus that the rise in use is substantial. One such study says the Ontario sale of alcohol in Ontario us up by two million dollars a day. Another common point of agreement is that there will be a similar increase in the problems generated by the use of alcohol.             Being deceived is not only perpetrated by the propagation of false information, and there surely has been lots of that during covid, but also by the withholding of legitimate truthful information. A recent CBC news article opens with these words: “It's not a secret, but it may as well be. Few Canadians know the truth, and few may want to hear it: Alcohol, any amount of alcohol, can cause cancer. There is no safe amount, and the calls to inform Canadians are growing. "Even drinking one drink a day increases your risk of some cancers — including, if you're a woman, breast cancer — but also cancers of the digestive system, the mouth, stomach," said Tim Stockwell, a senior scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria. "The risk increases with every drink you take." Alcohol has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans) for decades by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It's right up there with tobacco and asbestos. Alcohol is also a top cause of preventable cancer after smoking and obesity.”             So why is are many Canadians not aware of these facts and associated risks? The following excerpt from the article posits the probable answer:             As for why so many people are in the dark, Iqbal says he thinks that, "it boils down to money. Alcohol is a $1.5 trillion a year [global] industry. They'll lose money, and money wins at the end of the day." In 2017, public health researchers and the Yukon government agreed to test cancer warning labels on all alcohol containers in the government-owned liquor store in Whitehorse. But less than a month after the cancer labels were put on, they were taken off under pressure from the alcohol industry. A couple more tidbits to ponder from the article: In Canada, alcohol was linked to 7,000 new cancer cases in 2020 alone. Moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to an approximate 30 to 50 per cent increased risk of breast cancer.             So, strong drink is raging don’t be deceived.                                                                           Pastor Dave