Indiana — When I read letters from smokers whining about not being allowed to suck on cigarettes in public, it makes me wonder if all their synapses are clicking. Here are these poor addicts crying about not being allowed to destroy their health and the health of those near them, wringing their hands and ranting about future government interference, never realizing how absurd they sound. My mom used to tell me not to stare at such people. It was hard then, and it still is.
What these people need is not sympathy but a solution to their problem. The plans offered to date only address the problem by limiting smoking areas.
That causes high anxiety for tobacco addicts and does nothing to remedy the many problems caused by smoking. I have a better plan, a simpler plan, one that is easy to implement: Outlaw tobacco and legalize marijuana.
This is easy to do once you realize that whether a drug is legal or not is purely a matter of chance. If your deadly, addictive drug of choice is tobacco, you’re OK. If it’s heroin, you’re in trouble.
Making pot legal and tobacco illegal would eliminate the smoking issue. Consider the following:
♦ As shown in a study at Johns Hopkins University, pot doesn’t cause cancer, and it’s not addictive. It might be habit-forming, but then so are chocolate-chip cookies. Anybody want to give those up? Didn’t think so.
♦ Many people say tobacco is a necessary stress reliever for them. Buddy, tobacco doesn’t hold a candle to pot. Not only will marijuana relieve your stress to the point of turning you limp, it improves sleep. Recent studies have shown that lack of sleep contributes to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. As an added benefit, pot might improve your eyesight. I’ve heard people claim to see things when smoking pot they don’t see otherwise. Better health through smoking – let’s see the tobacco crowd claim that.
♦ Restaurants would be able to increase income by charging admission to their smoking sections. Not only would people stop complaining about smokers, they would demand tables near them.
♦ Secondhand smoke? Forget that one! Smokers standing outside buildings to puff would be surrounded by nonsmokers inhaling deeply. Not only would this improve lung health in the masses, but think of all the new friends smokers would make.
♦ Future lawsuits concerning smoking would disappear; think of the effect on trial lawyers. Anyone feel bad about that?
♦ The intake of alcohol would drop precipitously, since having a smoke with your beer would increase the buzz with less booze. With less alcohol being consumed, the number of bar fights would drop at an exponential rate. This would result in a drop in police calls and court actions, saving us lots of money in law enforcement. The drop in alcohol consumption would lower the number of domestic disturbances.
♦ Having a smoke on the way home would greatly decrease the number of road rage incidents.
♦ We could tax the bejabbers out of pot, and smokers would pay it.
♦ We would end a lot of the problems at the border, because most of the illegal drugs going north are bales of marijuana. If it’s legal, it crosses like tequila, but in greater volume.
♦ New advertising revenue from marijuana sales. I can see it now: “Juan isn’t growing the easiest pot in the world, he’s growing excellent weed.” Think of the money there.
I could go on and on, but I think I’ve made the point. Approximately 12 million people in the United States smoke pot and are not being hurt. About 450,000 people will die of diseases related to tobacco use this year. It’s a no-brainer: lower costs, more tax revenues, happier people.
So what’s the downside to this? The only one I can see is that marijuana makes people happy, so conservatives will fight legalization to the end. Maybe that’s why they like tobacco so much – it hurts those who enjoy it.