Monday, February 6, 2012

Smoking is Smoking: Bias Laws

 One of the most interesting things that has always bothered me was the bias laws when it comes to smoking. As of today Cannabis is considered an uncontrolled substance which is illegal in many states. However Cigarette smoking is completed legal and accepted by the people of America. My only question is why is cigarette smoking legal and cannabis smoking is illegal? For those who don't know the effects of these two substances I will give a brief explanation.

 Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a hallucinogen which produces a "high" among the active participants. The chemical THC found in cannabis is said to  reach the brain and attaches to Cannabinoid receptors. The blocking of theses receptors increases the flow of Dopamine, allowing it to flow freely, and the body experiences a heightened focus, a greater level of perception, and sometimes results in elevated emotions and feelings. Some short term effects include, increased heart rate, dry mouth and reddening of the eyes. Also it increases hunger, it makes you sleepy and for those who have ever tried, it tends to make you laugh. Most important, IT DOESN'T LEAD TO AN ADDICTION.

Now to take a look at Cigarette smoke and tobacco usage. The addictive Nicotine located in the cigarette is said to give you a calm and relaxing feeling. Now both of these pose the risk of cancer due to the increased smoke blockage in the lung area but the breakdown of seriousness extends far beyond this. 
 Worldwide an average of 5 million people die per year due to the smoking a cigarettes. In addition to this people who smoke "squares" lose about 14 years off their life. Also cigarettes are the major cause of catastrophic diseases and death. This is funny considering that "weed" doesn't produce this type of effect at all.  In fact we rarely hear about anyone dying from the smoking of cannabis but there are sometimes instance when people do ridiculous things while being "high". This may be the reason this drug is considered illegal. However, many states have legalized cannabis due to the fact that it has had some medical breakthroughs. "Weed" can be prescribed to you if have had chronic headaches, temporary blindness, to cancer patients, to aids patients and to patients with the eye disease glaucoma. 

These stats leave a puzzling look on my face because at the end of the day Cigarettes are legal and cannabis is not. Since continuous usage of "squares" causes death then the manufacturers are committing murder. The ethical question here is why continue to sell cigarettes if so many people die from them? The reason being is that cigarettes can be taxed. Simply put it is a money maker. This shows a certain bias when it comes to the legal standards of smoking. All I'm saying is smoking is smoking, on area of smoking is a plague and the other is a joyous pastime. If "weed" is illegal so should cigarette smoking. 


  1. Very interesting post. Definitely see where you are coming from. I agree, that if cannabis is illegal then so should cigarette smoking, only for the simple fact that it can take a persons life. However, a smokers response to that is, "everything plays a role in killing us, we all die some day." I understand that people who smoke weed say that it is not as bad for you as smoking cigarettes because it is a natural substance and is not addictive. I think the main issue is, cigarette smoking is just socially acceptable, weed is not, however I argue that it is making its way to being accepted by most of society. Think about one thing though, how bad would our government look if they legalize something that has been illegal for so many years because it is a drug, something people have always done illegally, to get a just sounds more awful than it may truly be.

  2. Social perception plays a huge role in this debate. Individuals lobbying for the legalization of marijuana isn't anything new, it has been occurring for some time. The issue still remains however that no serious politician whose main concern is to either gain office or remain in office, will back such a bill if the vast majority of polls still show a majority of disapproval, although I do believe that has recently changed in a poll I saw not too long ago. Looking at trying to make the two the same in the aspect of them both being illegal will never happen simply because of the revenue that tobacco generates in taxes.In terms of legalizing marijuana I think America as a society has been slowly moving in that direction for quite some time as many local agencies have already decriminalized it.

  3. Interesting point of view. I think it's something that is eventually going to happen no matter what. I think it would have been a good idea to mention the benefits of legalizing marijuana due to the tax benefits. I think part of the reason that it is taking so long for marijuana to be legalized is because of the difficulty of testing individuals of being "high". This is problematic because, let's face it, but not everyone is capable of driving while under the influence of marijuana. The bad thing about it is it effects everyone differently and how do we measure that when testing people? It's not like alcohol consumption where you blow into a breathalizer and your BAC level pops up a few minutes later. In the future, yes I think that marijuana will be legalized. It will benefit our criminal justice system, and the tax benefits will help with national debt, however, I think that a solution to figuring out how to test individuals for being "high" has to be figured out first.

  4. Very interesting, but my initial thought on this was smoking tobacco is essentially inhaling many different types of chemicals along with carcinogens that burn up in your lungs. Now this is what makes the addiction feeling, and for the most part "weed" also is inhaling these carcinogens, but then again not the nasty chemicals found in cigarettes. So, I guess my main concern with this is the human lungs weren't designed to inhale smoke, so why would anyone want to breathe in smoke?

    This is interesting, but I also feel marijuana will never become legal because as you said it has been illegal for so long, and it makes you inebriated, while tobacco has a rich history of being consumed, but the real problem or therefor lack of a problem is tobacco doesn't inebriate your mind and is more willing to accept that into society so they can tax the heck out of it. As for the moral concerns, many major corporations don't care about the well being of others, they care about a profit. Thats why the world needs more cigarette brands like American Spirit, who sells only all natural tobacco cigs.

    Interesting story!

  5. I believe the only reason that marijuana is illegal is because of money. Money and people and corporations with the money influence almost all of the laws of America. From the beginning of the country cotton and tobacco were major crops which had a lot to do with the success of the United States. Today the logging and tobacco industries have many lobbyists that fight against marijuana. Hemp and other products can be a cheap and more sustainable source of paper. Marijuana brings competition to cigarettes and to alcohol for a recreational substance that alters your brain.Personally, I do not use marijuana and I have seen people that use it daily become lazy, so it does not really bother me that it is illegal.

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