Saturday, June 25, 2005

The war on common sense

The lonely libertarian opened his Time magazine last week to find this advertisement:

"Introducing a Really High-Tar Cigarette.

Quite a few people think that smoking pot is less likely to cause cancer than a regular cigarette. You may have even heard some parents say they'd rather their kids smoked a little pot than get hooked on cigarettes.

Wrong, and wrong again.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one joint can deliver four times as much cancer causing tar as one cigarette. So if your kids smoke a joint, their lungs are being filled by far more carcinogens than if they smoked one cigarette.

That's just one of the many problems with pot. But kids whose parents get involved are far less likely to do drugs. To learn more call 1-800-788-2800 or come to the website.

This is the information coming from our government that is supposed to be in our best interest. Technically, the facts may be correct. Maybe a joint does contain four times as much tar as a cigarette. Of course, I don’t really care, because the real point of this advertisement is to manipulate the public into thinking that marijuana is dangerous. The problem is, no one gets cancer from one cigarette, or one joint. Cancer is a disease that afflicts those who have spent a lifetime smoking.

This doesn’t even require any scientific research. We all know people who smoke cigarettes. Most of them are addicted, and smoke anywhere from half a pack a day, to a full pack a day, or more. And we all know people who smoke pot. The majority of pot smokers do so socially, maybe once or twice a week. The people we call potheads may smoke once or twice a day. No one smokes the equivalent of a pack or even half a pack of joints per day.

In addition, we all know a great deal of pot smokers in college. We may know more pot smokers in college than cigarette smokers. Now think about the 40 year olds you know. The number of cigarette smokers is probably very similar to the numbers in the college age range. But what about pot? Few of us can think of 40 year olds who still smoke pot, especially not in nearly the same numbers as those who did in college.

It doesn’t take any sociological or scientific research to tell us this, we all know this from our own lives. Back to the advertisement, it implicitly implies that you’re kids would be better off being hooked on cigarettes than smoking “a little pot.” Somehow, the government wants you to believe that children would be better off becoming addicted to nicotine, perhaps the most physically addictive drug there is, than they would be if they smoked a little of a drug that has no physically addictive properties whatsoever.


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