Jump to content
 
Sign in to follow this  
kuhla

Tobacco in terms of how it relates to other drug policies

Recommended Posts

In an attempt to stimulate some conversation on this forum.....

 

There is clearly a growing effort being made across the country to legalize recreational use of certain drugs (primarily marijuana but others are being talked about too). I'm not going to state how I feel about that but I will say that it does seem absolutely hypocritical to allow the smoking of tobacco while debating others.

 

There is zero debate about the fact that smoking tobacco has negative health consequences in small amounts or large amounts, in the short term or in the long term, whether you are young or old. There is simply no justifiable situation for it ever to be used outside of user enjoyment.

 

If smoking tobacco was banned, I feel one side would have a much better foundation to stand on.

 

Your thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the reason MJ is being so critical of it is probably due the personality changes that it produces versus the simply bad things that smoking does. I try to avoid the subject entirely IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the reason MJ is being so critical of it is probably due the personality changes that it produces versus the simply bad things that smoking does. I try to avoid the subject entirely IMO.

 

I sympathize. Especially when it's MJ specific. I didn't really want this to be a thread about MJ but I figured the connection was impossible to avoid. I don't even really want to touch on that. I'm hoping we can just focus on the seeming legality of tobacco being a bit of a paradox in the legal system we have and how many people argue it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really follow the legality of certain drugs debate either.

 

On a slight tangent: I recall there are countries out there that basically use "Darwin's Law" in that they provide people who want to use drugs (irc, it was heroin) as much as they want and the addicts end up killing themselves-- the government/hospitals don't bother trying to rehabilitate the addicts because it costs more to do so.

 

Personally, I find addiction depressing and try to steer away from the topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to the legalization of various substances, I find that my views have changed quite a bit from what they were when I was younger. The D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program that those of us who grew up in southern California are familiar with really drilled into our brains the fact that drugs are bad and will ruin your life. "Just say no" was the slogan. The images I can recall most vividly are those of people with cancer of various kinds. Some lung cancer, some mouth cancer... the images were gross and I think we got the message: "If you do drugs, you'll pay for it..."

 

On the one hand, I am grateful that I received information about the negative consequences that can stem from certain substances. I think more than anything I learned that some things are just bad for the human body--and its probably a good idea to stay away from them. On the other hand, I am not a proponent of the government meddling in matters of personal health and well-being. This is something that I feel more strongly about as I get older. I do believe that every person has the inherent right to do with their body whatever they want so long as it does not directly limit or affect someone else's to do the same. Don't make choices for people--allow people to make their own choices and realize their effects.

 

So is it hypocritical to legalize one substance and not another? Maybe. But I think we have to take a step back to ascertain the true reasons that some substances are band and others legalized. I think one reason why tobacco is legalized while others (like cannabis) are banned (for the most part), is because it was one of the early cash crops that brought money to America. Tobacco was in high demand in the 1700s. And anything that is in high demand can produce large profits. I am not saying that this is the only reason that tobacco is legalized while others are not. But I think it is one reason. Perhaps tobacco was more easily monetized than cannabis?

 

I believe money, lobbyists, and politics play a major, often overlooked role in this debate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one reason why tobacco is legalized while others (like cannabis) are banned (for the most part), is because it was one of the early cash crops that brought money to America. Tobacco was in high demand in the 1700s. And anything that is in high demand can produce large profits.

 

I feel its historical significance has played a large part in it continuing to be a legal form of permanent self-harm but with all the recent debate I feel like it should start sticking out like a sore thumb and yet I see no one talking about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do believe that every person has the inherent right to do with their body whatever they want so long as it does not directly limit or affect someone else's to do the same.

At what point do you draw the line on this. Do you support the ban of smoking in the car with children present? What about inside their homes with children present? Should any legal guardian be allowed to do drugs and maintain custody of their children or should that be decided by a neutral party like Child Protective Services?

 

I don't have good answers to those questions, but I do think of them when I consider the ramifications of complete legalization of all substances. I'd love to believe that in a perfect world these questions would be answered in a reasonable manner, but frankly the courts and other government agencies will invariably end up deciding.

 

It's interesting because there's technically a rift between an adults bodily integrity and the custody of a minor. Parents are often not held liable for the damage they can inflict upon their children, but they're still given the freedom to harm themselves by smoking or drinking to excess etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New York raises minimum age to buy cigarettes to 21

source - http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/new-york-raises-minimum-age-to-buy-cigarettes-to-21-1.1827624

 

 

.....

 

The city has seen a sharp drop in adult smokers, from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 14.8 percent in 2011, according to official statistics.

 

But the smoking rate among young people has been steady since 2007, at 8.5 percent, which was part of the impetus for raising the minimum age.

 

Authorities hope that the new law will cut the smoking rate among 18 to 20 years by more than half.

 

New York hopes to inspire other cities to pass similar age restrictions.

 

Hmmm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New York raises minimum age to buy cigarettes to 21

source - http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/new-york-raises-minimum-age-to-buy-cigarettes-to-21-1.1827624

 

 

.....

 

The city has seen a sharp drop in adult smokers, from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 14.8 percent in 2011, according to official statistics.

 

But the smoking rate among young people has been steady since 2007, at 8.5 percent, which was part of the impetus for raising the minimum age.

 

Authorities hope that the new law will cut the smoking rate among 18 to 20 years by more than half.

 

New York hopes to inspire other cities to pass similar age restrictions.

 

Hmmm

 

....and now Hawaii.

 

source - http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/29365804/gov-ige-signs-bill-raising-legal-smoking-age-in-hawaii-to-21

 

Let's see where else this goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhat related.

 

source - http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/finally-a-change-in-course-on-drug-policy

 

 

By Richard Branson

....

In an as-yet unreleased statement circulated to the BBC, myself and others, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which has shaped much of global drug policy for decades, call on governments around the world to decriminalise drug use and possession for personal consumption for all drugs. This is a refreshing shift that could go a long way to finally end the needless criminalisation of millions of drug users around the world. The UNODC document was due to be launched at the International Harm reduction conference in Malaysia yesterday.

My colleagues on the Global Commission on Drug Policy and I could not be more delighted, as I have stated in embargoed interviews for the likes of the BBC. Together with countless other tireless advocates, I’ve for years argued that we should treat drug use as a health issue, not as a crime. While the vast majority of recreational drug users never experience any problems, people who struggle with drug addiction deserve access to treatment, not a prison cell.
....

[more at source]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

California just passed a law increasing the age to purchase tobacco and vaping products to 21.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-jerry-brown-smoking-bills-20160504-story.html

 

I personally don't entirely understand this particular legislation, not only is there a huge exemption for any active duty military personnel, but it's starting to become rather hypocritical with what ages represent "adulthood."

So you can drive a car at 15.5 years old, which provides you with some power/responsibility. At age 18 you can join the military, star in pornography, vote in elections, take full control of your finances and personal well being... but you can't smoke or drink because that's dangerous and are still considered an adolescent (but if you break any laws you'll be tried as an adult don't worry).

 

I don't get the huge disconnect, if we're so scared of alcohol and tobacco being so addictive and dangerous that we bar the sales of these products of to young adults, why do we tax and sell them at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My position on this pretty much has not changed in the last year (when this thread was started): Recreational tobacco use is a glaring piece of legal hypocrisy considering that it is bad for health at any dose and any frequency. Legislators cannot cry about "addictive" or "dangerous" substances on the one hand while allowing recreational tobacco use in the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blood tests that try to quantify marijuana use are in fact useless at assessing how impaired a driver is, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In other words, the study found that people with low blood amounts of THC—or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component of pot—may still act as if they’re really stoned. On the other hand, some people may have THC measurements off the charts yet still act normally.

 

The finding is critical because several states have already set legal limits for the amount of THC a person can have in their blood while driving. AAA concluded that such limits are “arbitrary and unsupported by science, which could result in unsafe motorists going free and others being wrongfully convicted for impaired driving.”

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/05/legal-limits-for-marijuana-dui-are-arbitrary-and-unsupported-by-science/

 

This is going to get even more interesting if when legal marijuana comes to California. We need some standard to follow, but sobriety tests are practically useless and if blood tests don't work what exactly are we left with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2015 at 2:47 PM, kuhla said:

New York raises minimum age to buy cigarettes to 21

source - http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/new-york-raises-minimum-age-to-buy-cigarettes-to-21-1.1827624

Hmmm

 

On 6/19/2015 at 11:43 PM, kuhla said:

....and Oregon.

source - http://www.ksdk.com/mobile/article/news/health/no-buying-tobacco-under-the-age-of-21-oregon-lawmakers-decide/454884956

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone mentioned that before WWII the draft age was 21, and after WWII we got the 26th amendment which allows for 18 year old's to vote.  We need to pick an age for adulthood and apply all standard uniformly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

source - http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/New-Jersey-Raises-Minimum-Smoking-Age-to-21-435864343.html

Quote

 

Gov. Chris Christie raised the minimum age to buy cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices to 21 in New Jersey on Friday.

Prior to signing the law, the minimum age was 19.
....

 

...and another one...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It basically was before WW2, but when they lowered the draft age they also felt it necessary to put the voting age at 18 and since that's a constitutional amendment, I have a hard time believing it's going to change. 

Not to mention that 18 seems to be a standard worldwide. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Malaphax said:

It basically was before WW2, but when they lowered the draft age they also felt it necessary to put the voting age at 18 and since that's a constitutional amendment, I have a hard time believing it's going to change. 

Not to mention that 18 seems to be a standard worldwide. 

Getting a little off topic here but the main thing that bugs me about the everything-at-18 is the idea of people going straight into the military out of high school. I like the idea of there being a gap between the end of high school and the possible beginning of a military career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the thought.  Ideally 18-21 should be years used for either: trade school / apprenticeship, junior college, or as a last resort - working.  I think that helps alleviate people trying to get into college and not meeting certain requirements (not at college level math/english for example).  It also helps cut down the number of general ed courses you need to take at college.  This might be a solution for majors taking longer, and help cut down the time spent in university from 4-6 years down to 2-4, leaving the overall time spent in education roughly the same.  For those that would prefer a trade school, this allows you to go through the entire program as well as provides time to be taken on as an apprentice and start building up your trade skills in the real world.  There will always be some people that work right out of high school, but considering current trends and the push to make junior college free, this might help push people into getting associates degrees or trade skills that otherwise would not have had the opportunity. 

Unfortunately this completely screws the military, 50% of enlisted people are under 25 (source - pg 63 - pdf warning).  My guess is that the average age of initial enlistment (excluding officers) is 18-19.  I have a feeling plenty of people would be less willing to give up 4 years of their life after experiencing 3 years of pseudo-adulthood.  I also think it would slightly increase the quality of enlisted candidates, but that's pure conjecture on my part. 

Sidenote: I'd also love to see some form of compulsory service, either military reserve training, medical / caretaking, basic community service or possibly government service.  I feel like that would cut down on the apathy that many young people feel, especially toward government.  I think requiring a certain time commitment during the 18-21 time frame would be fantastic and would give young adults better perspective.  I know I personally could have used some of that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting even more off-topic and using a personal anecdote: I remember hearing second hand accounts that at one point our local Sheriff's department dropped the minimum required age to apply to 18 (from 20) and people applied but no one was accepted and then they later brought the age requirement back up again. You have to wonder if they were not happy with the quality of the applicants. I believe the actual average age range last I heard in the academy is actually mid 20s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/21/2017 at 1:04 PM, kuhla said:

source - http://mainepublic.org/post/maine-s-legal-smoking-age-become-21#stream/0

....and Maine...

I would actually appreciate if someone would create an infographic at this point because you have this handful of states, some cities, some counties that have raised the age and it's getting a bit confusing. Wikipedia does not have a nice article clearly outlining it. I checked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It gets messier when you look at military exemptions.  I'm not positive on how that works, I know they can smoke on base, but I'm unsure if that means they can also purchase cigarettes or smoke off base because of their status.

I have a feeling as marijuana legalization becomes more mainstream, we'll see a bigger push to make cigarettes limited to 21+.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2015 at 2:47 PM, kuhla said:

New York raises minimum age to buy cigarettes to 21

 

On 6/19/2015 at 11:43 PM, kuhla said:

....and now Hawaii.

 

On 7/7/2017 at 12:20 PM, kuhla said:

....and Oregon.

 

On 7/21/2017 at 1:04 PM, kuhla said:

...and another one...

 

On 8/3/2017 at 8:28 AM, kuhla said:

....and Maine...

....and Connecticut....

article - https://www.middletownpress.com/middletown/article/Connecticut-raises-age-to-buy-tobacco-to-21-14018393.php

Quote

Connecticut joins 15 other states and hundreds of cities and towns that have passed similar legislation, including California, Maryland, Washington, Hawaii and most recently, New York. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to compare this movement to the MADD movement that eventually pushed legal drinking ages to 21 but in this instance I'm not seeing a specific agency/lobbying group that's pushing for this.  I'm seeing a general group of legislators that realize the harmful effects of smoking pushing this, but as we've pointed out in this thread there are other issues regarding the weird split of legal adulthood at 18 and lack of specific freedoms for these adults until 21.  
Offtopic: Firearms also face age restriction scrutiny, as federally the law states that you must be 21 to buy a pistol, but allows a huge loophole for private sales at 18 - longarms are currently at 18, but some states are looking to change that (read California). 

I sincerely hope that a case regarding this topic makes it to the supreme court - regardless of the eventual ruling, I'd like to see where we legally stand when it comes to adulthood as certain freedoms are being barred while all the responsibilities are still present.  In fact it's arguably worse for an 18-20 year old to get caught with a DUI or presumably cigarettes/marijuana infractions because that holds specific legal ramifications unique to that age group and you would be tried as an adult.  I wonder if an argument could be made for cruel and unusual punishment regarding the unfair legal treatment that group potentially faces.  We don't specifically try any other age group for crimes like that, if we charge senior citizens differently when they were involved in motor collisions (random example) we'd see outrage, but discriminating against 18-20 year olds is apparently fair game?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...