Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Smoking Hypocrisy

by Gary J. Isbell

The Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, Luther L. Terry, M.D., released the first report from the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health on January 11, 1964.

This warning kick started an unprecedented and successful antismoking campaign for public health, and it was accomplished in spite of the addictive nature of tobacco and the powerful industry that promoted its use.

Ironically 50 years later, while we still see the condemnation of cigarette smoking, we have witnessed the legalizing of marijuana for recreational use in 2 states and for “medical” use in another 16. All of this is happening while marijuana continues to be illegal under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) 21 U.S.C. § 811, and our federal government does nothing to enforce the law.

Even President Obama has weighed in stating that marijuana smoking is no different than cigarettes or more dangerous than alcohol.[1] A statement that is direct conflict with the research and official positions of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (NDCP). As a matter of fact, the NDCP statements[2] on the website counter the president’s remarks on all accounts. This is not a debate that should be decided by opinion but rather scientific evidence. So why condemn tobacco but allow marijuana?

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