Tuesday, August 16, 2011

personaly, i think its about time

i been saying this shit for years

Earlier this summer, to Dwight Lewis’s applause in The Tennessean, the FDA imposed gruesome, supersize warning labels for tobacco products beginning in September 2012. That same week, members of Congress, including Rep. Steve Cohen from Memphis, introduced legislation to allow states to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana.
If Congress allows Tennessee to tax and regulate its largest cash crop and permit adult Tennesseans to purchase cannabis from legal vendors (or grow their own), what should the labels say compared to tobacco and alcohol?
We know tobacco is the leading cause of death in America, contributing to 400,000 deaths each year. So it’s hardly any wonder the FDA will require the placement of prominent warning labels. Alcohol is the third-leading cause of death in America. The World Health Organization reported earlier this year that “alcohol causes nearly 4 percent of deaths worldwide, more than AIDS, tuberculosis or violence.” The authors added: “Alcohol is a causal factor in 60 types of diseases and injuries. … Alcohol consumption has been linked to cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy, poisonings, traffic accidents, violence, and several types of cancer, including cancers of the colorectum, breast, larynx and liver.” Yet, warning labels on alcohol are inconspicuous at best and mention only two risks: birth defects and driving.
What about marijuana? With every other drug from Advil and alcohol to Zantac, a correct dose is effective, but too high a dose kills the patient. No dose of marijuana is capable of causing a fatal overdose, so we know the number of deaths directly attributable to marijuana will remain at zero.
And unlike alcohol and tobacco, adverse effects of even heavy cannabis use are minimal. There is no epidemiological evidence in any country, after scores of studies and centuries of use by tens of millions of people, that marijuana smokers have a shorter life expectancy than non-smokers.
They don’t become violent at sports events or beat their spouses and children. They don’t get heart disease, cancer, brain damage or any other deadly illness at a higher rate than those who abstain. In fact, a pair of studies conducted by Kaiser Permanente found that marijuana use, even long-term, was not associated with elevated levels of mortality or incidences of cancer, including types of cancers associated with tobacco smoking.
Marijuana, of course, carries risks. A few users will become dependent. And marijuana intoxication also affects driving. But while alcohol is a sedative that makes drivers more reckless and aggressive, marijuana heightens awareness, causing drivers to be more cautious. A few people trying pot for the first time may temporarily have a panic reaction.
These risks are far less than those from tobacco and alcohol. Most Americans do not believe they justify another 23 million arrests and hundreds of billions of dollars in law enforcement expenditures. This is why the bill to remove the federal prohibition of cannabis was introduced.
America is on a path to allow adults to choose a safer alternative to tobacco and alcohol. And create more tax revenue and more jobs in Tennessee. And more freedom.
Paul Armentano is deputy director of NORML and co-author of the book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? Paul Kuhn of Nashville is a registered investment adviser and treasurer of the boards of NORML and the NORML Foundation.

1 comment:

  1. Pistolkitten YoungAugust 16, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Might just have to move to Tennessee hmmmm

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