Skip to comments.HHS: 8,300 Words About the Dangers of Tobacco Smoking, But Not a Single Word About Pot Smoking
Posted on 01/21/2014 6:07:46 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
(CNSNews.com) - "We're still a country very much addicted to tobacco," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a news conference last Friday, as she urged communities, schools and businesses to "help make the next generation a tobacco-free generation."
A transcript of that news conference runs around 8,300 words, but there isn't a single word about the adverse health effects of marijuana smoking -- even as more states jump on the pot-legalization bandwagon.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana smoke is an irritant to the lungs, and "frequent marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems experienced by tobacco smokers."
Even the Surgeon General has issued a warning on marijuana, calling it a "major public health problem in the United States."
The Surgeon-General lists the "known or suspected" effects of pot smoking, including short-term memory impairment or slowness of learning; impaired lung function similar to that found in cigarette smokers, including cancer and other lung disease following extended use; reproductive problems; impaired immune response; and possible adverse effects on heart function.
Even President Obama admitted that pot smoking is a "bad idea" in an interview published in the latest issue of The New Yorker: "As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I dont think it is more dangerous than alcohol."
Obama added, "Its not something I encourage, and Ive told my daughters I think its a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy."
In addition to the unhealthful consequences of cigarette smoking, Sebelius last Friday mentioned the economic consequences of tobacco use: She pointed to a report showing that for every pack of cigarettes smoked in Oregon, state residents pay an estimated $13 in lost productivity and medical expenses.
She called for "an all-hands-on-deck approach" to stop kids from smoking. "We need the partnership of the business community, of local elected officials, of the academic community, the medical community, nonprofit organizations, the faith community and of committed health advocates and citizens in communities across the country."
Assistant HHS Secretary Howard Koh, appearing at the news conference with Sebelius, slammed the tobacco companies for selling what has always been a legal product. He called it "unacceptable and intolerable" that tobacco marketing efforts have "succeeded in creating a society where tobacco use is the social norm, thereby leading to devastating consequences."
But under President Obama, marijuana smoking also is becoming a social norm.
Although the drug is illegal under federal law, President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder has applied prosecutorial discretion to states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.
In an August 2013 memo to the states, the Justice Department said it would use its "limited investigative and prosecutorial resources to address the most significant threats," including preventing the distribution of pot to minors, preventing drugged driving, and preventing other gang and criminal activity involved in the drug trade.
This past Sunday, The Los Angeles Times reported that 2014 "is shaping up to be one of the marijuana movement's strongest ever," with two states legalizing recreational marijuana use and five other states, including California and Florida, gathering signatures for marijuana ballot initiatives.
"Marijuana legalization has gone from an abstract concept to a mainstream issue to a political reality within a three-year period," the newspaper quoted Stephen Gutwillig of the Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group, as saying.
As Sebelius said on Friday about tobacco use: "And the question is really, what kind of a country do we want to leave our children and grandchildren? Because when I think of where we can be, I see a country where smoking is no longer considered in vogue for young people. I see a future where our kids are not burning through hundreds of billions of dollars each year as an economy due to tobacco use. A future where millions of moms and dads and sons and daughters and nieces and nephews aren't lost before their time. Now, I can tell you, that's a future that this president, President Obama, sees as well. And it's a future within our grasp if we're willing to work together to make it so."
Selective Nanny State PING!
How many words on the thousands of laws stealing your freedoms and billions of dollars spent to keep you from lighting up a doobie?
The only reason tobacco gets attacked is because it’s a big legal business. If it were illegal, no one would care.
they need new blood....pot smoking is a whole new ball game..
I imagine the lawyers are already dreaming up reasons to sue...
Ummnn Drugs are bad unmm...
Because smoking weed is cool,
where smoking cigarettes is for the dinosaurs (=Republicans)
Drugs are bad, mmmkay? /Mr. Mackey
Stupid aren’t they.
Pot smoking is about 10 times worse on your lungs and being high on pot can actually get you or someone near you killed.
Now all the dopers are going to come after me on this thread, as usual.
It’s funny that you say that. I just read an article about marijuana use - not that I am interested at all. The study surprised the administrators with the remarkable low instances of lung cancer for pot smokers. Especially since they inhale and keep the smoke in their lungs for a longer period of time. Is there a remote possibility, that if you are going to smoke something, then it should be pot over tobacco? You have to admit that the only reason that tobacco is still legal is because they tax the sh!t out of it. None of us would want to see what would happen to our income taxes if they got rid of tobacco taxes. Personally I don’t give a rip it they legalize pot and put a 100% tax on it. It is a sin tax and doesn’t affect me at all. In the same breath of air, I would require anyone purchasing pot to sign a waiver of liability that would prevent the govt or any insurance company from treating them for cancer if and when the smoker comes down with it.
Although I could into pages upon pages to dispute everything and refute much of it - I will save everyone the tedium and just use two words - BOVINE EXCREMENT
Yes, that was what I was attempting. Thank you.
Being drunk can also get your or someone else killed.
Legal pot will probably need to be regulated, just as some states and localities regulate alcoholic beverages (ABC stores, restrictions on where you can sell, etc.).
I refuse to listen to a word this banana republic gooberment says on any subject.
There isn’t one serious person who thinks that marijuana prohibition is worth the price, but there are a lot of politicians who have to pretend that it is out of what they think is political expediency. If Obama can use his lame duck license to break that logjam, well that’s one good thing he’ll have done.
I would have never believed that people, who 20-30 years ago campaigned against the evil of drugs, now are into buying bongs.
Does beer drinking lead to hard liquor? Most alcoholics start with beer or wine, right?
So, I think it’s safe to say that people who like to ‘get high’ will continue on the path of getting high. When the pot high isn’t enough where are they gonna’ turn? That’s right, harder drugs.
Look, I’m no church deacon or anything like that, in fact, I’ve used drugs of all kinds including crack and heroin by needle. I started out with pot. I know what I’m talking about, I’ve learned from the inside.
I don’t think legalizing pot helps anyone, especially not kids who should be looking up to adults as role models. I wouldn’t support legalizing pot if it even hurt ONE kid. Problem is, it will hurt millions of kids.
How much prison time did you serve for your admitted crimes, which are all felonies under federal law?
Well, I wouldn’t have believed 20-30 years ago something as insanely depraved as fag marriage would be a reality in America, either. Not to mention electing a Marxist “community organizer” for president. But America has devolved into a truly degenerate place, with a populace of dopehead lowlifes and a putrid, poisonous culture.
Dope, homo marriage, open-borders, socialism. No doubt in my mind that America is rounding its last corner.
Thanks for the ping!
I was young and wild and free. Always have been and always intend to stay that way.
Or about gays going "In through the out door."
In what way, less powerful than normally sold? If so, will that not leave open the door for more illegal sellers with more potent pot for those that want more than the government crap.
Back to square one.
I note that comparisons between marijuana and tobacco never note the fact that since marijuana is not legal, it is made by completely unknown sources and has zero health standards of any kind, since it is sold and marketed by criminal gangs. If it has the same fundamental health regulations as tobacco and alcohol, that alone could lower significantly some of the more blatant health hazards of it.
In any event, I maintain that it is of limited at best relevance. When discussing the health risks of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco in terms of justifying hyper-aggressive policing methods, it is all really just splitting hairs. The health risks of none of none of them justify it so we should be fighting for fair policies and elimination of out of control restrictions on all three of them. HHS is kidding themselves if they think out of control fear mongering works anyway. As has been said, “I read about the evils of drinking, so i gave up reading.”
I know in Texas it's an attempt by the Democrats to lure low information/young voters to the polls to vote straight Democrat ticket (they have wet dreams about turning the state "blue" (Commie) Decocrat).
I say this because there is no ballot initiative to do so, however "a" candidate for the Agriculture Commissioner (Kinky Friedman) is using that as his campaign issue (even though he himself has acknowledged that the office does not have any say on legalizing pot/hemp).
Wendy Davis (Abortion Barbie with out of state feminazi donor cash) is another leg in this assault.
Those under 21 (or 18 if somehow pot is given the same status as tobacco and not the intoxicant alcohol) will still be in violation of the law (which apparently won’t be inforcred, surrendering the drug war is cool and all that).
$500 fines for those who buy tobacco and alcohol but pot? Meh.
The dims know unless they can get many Texans stoned their chances of turning Texas blue are not good.
All of which supports the argument that the ptb in the party have decided it’s a winning issue.