Anti-marijuana propagandists love to tout marijuana as the next tobacco, ruining millions of lives, when in fact it’s saving them. While marijuana has dozens of uses, tobacco has only one. Though that is the fundamental difference, the debate over the two rages on.
One vs the other
The hard facts boil down to these:
- Tobacco contains nicotine which hardens arteries and breaks down into ‘N Nitrosamine’, a cancer-causing chemical. Marijuana does not.
- Nicotine’s highly addictive nature and short effect duration cause smokers to ‘chain smoke’. No marijuana user would smoke two packs of joints a day.
- While nicotine causes airways to constrict, THC is a bronchial dilator, opening up lungs, and in fact, is used to stop asthma attacks.
- Marijuana actively fights cancer cells, while tobacco only creates them. Marijuana mitigates the effects that smoking it may cause, and there has never been a case of lung cancer caused by marijuana use alone.
- Although marijuana may have more tars in its smoke, smoking it is only one of many ways in which it is consumed, and the only way the tars are passed into the body. Tobacco passes its cancer causing agents into the body no matter how it is consumed. Even vaporised nicotine delivery still puts nicotine into the body.
Lung function over time
The largest ever study of heavy marijuana users actually found that instead of increased danger of cancer, it actually had a protective effect on the body. A new study, published in January 2012 Journal of the American Medical Association tested the lung function of over 5,000 young adults between 18 and 30 over the course of 20 years.
They found that regular smokers (a joint a day for 7 years) had no difference from non-smokers in lung activity, actually performing slightly better. The likely explanation, as they put it is that in combination with marijuana’s ability to dilate lungs and increase blood flow, the common practice of ‘holding a hit’ as long as possible is similar to a pulmonary function test, training the lungs for peak performance.
The worst harm of marijuana
It is only the illegal nature of marijuana that prevents more healthy means of ingestion from becoming the standard, as we have seen in states that have legalized it. The only harms of marijuana are those caused by its legal status. It can cure your cancer, but you may go to jail. It can help stimulate brain growth, but get you kicked out of college. It can give you back your ability to be a good parent to your child, only to have the government take the child away.
It can help you be happy, but ruin your chances of a career, or a future, because people are willing to break into your home, shoot you in the street, steal everything you own, and call it ‘protecting’ you. For a plant.
Protecting people from themselves
It would seem, and is touted as fact, that our government simply wants to protect people from themselves. They outlaw ‘harmful’ substances so we can’t have access to them, possibly hurting ourselves. Why, if this is their intention, is tobacco legal? Furthermore, should they not protect us from the other dangers of the world?
Firearms, fatty foods, too much television, excess sugar, sharp objects, interracial or same-sex relations, rock and roll, and controversial literature, all of these have been considered ‘dangerous’ for us at one time or another. Those things never made put money in politicians wallets, though, did they? Prescription opioids, militarized law-enforcement personnel, big-business pollution, and prisons-for-profit, these and other dangers to a free society are just the way of the world, though, aren’t they?
Once we reach our age of majority, do we not have the right to take risks, live life as we see fit, and choose our own mistakes? Or are we to be forever forced to do what the least daring, the least adventurous, and the least controversial among us say is acceptable? Protection is a racket, where the only ones allowed to hurt us are the ones protecting us. Sound familiar? It should because it is a staple of organized crime.
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