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40,000 dead!

Keith Humphreys has apparently decided to go all out with this bizarre rant about dead tobacco consumers.

It apparently goes like this:

  • Tobacco companies cause 40,000 deaths per year from cigarette smoking; therefore, don’t legalize marijuana.

Apparently, part of this strange equation involves big businesses that are unhappy with the low numbers of consumers that they’ve killed and want to increase that number. They will then hijack the legal marijuana business, make everyone want to buy an inferior product through advertising, and poison the product so that people, who have never died from marijuana, will start dropping dead all over the place.

To Keith (in an otherwise good post), it’s like big business is worse than the combination of Mexican Drug Cartels and Al Qaeda.

The other possible outcome is that AG Holder (and note this is rank speculation, I have not discussed this with him and have no idea what he will decide in the end) does not intervene at all. In that case the coming years will see either Big Tobacco having a line of lucrative, well-marketed cannabis products, or, a new industry created that more or less conducts itself like Big Tobacco.

and that links to…

“This law hands another product to market to tobacco companies or creates a doppelganger that will lobby with them,” Humphreys said. “I don’t want to see some 16-year-old kid who smokes a joint have his life ruined, but . . . this law is not just legalized use, it’s legalized corporate ownership [and] legalized marketing.”

Humphreys predicts that tobacco companies, which have been poised and ready to accept cannabis into their product line since the 1970s, will align their aggressive marketing tactics and billions of dollars in lobbying power to gain control of cannabis in California.

“It’s taken us 40 years to bring tobacco companies even modestly to heel, and tobacco still kills 40,000 people per year,” he said. “How about let’s show we can regulate one industry that sells an addictive plant before we take on another.”

What a scary concept: “legalized corporate ownership [and] legalized marketing.” That sounds like something that some kind of Capitalist Society might have. Not like a nice benign Nanny State that tells its citizens what’s best for them, and that sends armed and hooded peacemakers through the front door of their homes to make sure they don’t do something that’s bad for them.

Thank God we have Keith Humphreys here in the states to protect us from the horrors of consumer choice.

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18 comments to 40,000 dead!

  • […] dead! 40,000 dead! DrugWarRant / Pete Guither / 10,8,2010 Keith Humphreys has apparently decided to go all out with […]

  • claygooding

    We need a concerted smear campaign on the ONDCP and the DEA. Flood the web with every story of corruption and studies showing failure of the drug war just as they used to flood the media with smear campaigns on marijuana users.
    OOOOH,we are doing that.

  • Ben Mann

    Why people consistently point to Big Tobacco when ranting against legal pot, I’ll never know. The two drugs are nothing alike, except they’re both dried plant leaves.

    Marijuana has none of the massively cancerous effects of tobacco. Marijuana has not been an entrenched, legal, influential industry in the USA for the past 300 years. Why do people think the marijuana industry will be in any way similar to the tobacco industry?

    You cannot really grow tobacco in your back yard. Many people can and will grow their own pot. Many people will love their 100% organic pot, and will pay a premium to local growers. Many people will prefer the less expensive mass-produced, chemical-fertilized variety. Some people will want heavy indica, some people will want light sativa. There will be demand for all different sorts of cannabis in a legal market, and no one, two, or even 5 companies will be able to dominate it.

    And let’s also restate: MARIJUANA IS NOT DEADLY! TOBACCO IS! STOP CONFLATING THE TWO!

  • kaptinemo

    Part of the reason why tobacco is so dangerous is because of the means of production (utilizing pesticides that contain Polonium 219, a deadly isotope, the same kind used to kill Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko) and all the other toxic additives used in them (about 400 at last count).

    No cannabist in their right mind would buy an equally adulterated product, given a choice.

  • and just to point to a glaring (typo?) error… that’s 400,000 a year dead from tobacco.

  • kaptinemo

    Sorry, meant to say “…toxic additives used in cigarettes”. But the point remains the same. Cannabists as a rule are far and away more health-conscious than the rest of the population, and don’t want that kind of crap. And won’t accept it, either.

  • Maria

    Yeah. Also don’t get the argument. A plant is a plant is a plant, is just not how it works. People aren’t addicted to Tobacco, the plant. They are addicted to nicotine, the chemical compound. It wasn’t put there by big tobacco, they just profited on its existence and increased its concentration.

    Cannabis doesn’t have anything even remotely like nicotine. I smoked a couple of packs in college and I still get the disturbing desire to light up when waiting for the bus. It’s like a bolt out of the blue. I never get the craving to smoke cannabis despite greater past use and despite now smoking it once or twice a year, if that. I know the above is all anecdotal and proves nothing, but I also know too many people with these anecdotes.

    So, big business could possibly Be Evil(tm) = so keep it illegal and keep everyone criminals. What is with this logic? Yeah, it’s a point to ponder on for future personal choices and consumption… I see it. We should all keep an eye on the business practices. Yeah, I see it. But as an argument to keep users criminals? It’s a terrible, illogical argument.

    That said, I gotta chuckle at the thought of cannabists being more health conscious than other people. Definitely not in my experience. I suspect it’s about the same as people who don’t consume it. That’s the thing, there’s such a wide cross cut of people who enjoy cannabis, it’s hard to generalize. Positively or negatively. The one I feel safe to say is that most are very aware of the hypocrisies in human society and culture.

  • thelburt

    i always thought the polonium was in the fertilizer, but i wouldn’t put it past them to actually add polonium to the pesticides. the tobacco industry should be donating money to prop 19 simply because cannabis enables a tobacco smoker to live longer. i would probably still be smoking if butts hadn’t gone up to $2.00/pack.

  • kaptinemo

    “That said, I gotta chuckle at the thought of cannabists being more health conscious than other people.”

    When you consider the special needs of many in the MMJ community, and the almost virulent aversion they have towards anything that would compromise their already endangered health, you’d agree that they’ll be a lot less tolerant of the kinds of crap that tobacco products contain…as they are.

    That, and the growers I knew in BC demonstrated an almost religious fervor in their objection to ‘chemicals’. (They took great care in ‘flushing’ their product prior to harvest to remove any traces of nutrients that might cause allergic reactions in their prospective clients.) A fervor shared by their clients, as well as just about every cannabist I met there. NONE of them would mix tobacco with their weed. I’d posit that few Americans would voluntarily adulterate their weed in the same way.

  • undrgrndgirl

    someone needs to point ms. humpreys to all the research that shows cannabis is protective against head, neck and lung cancers (and alzheimers and brain cancers, too)…she could start at norml.org…

  • undrgrndgirl

    @clay…telling the truth is NOT a smear campaign…

  • Maria

    “You’d agree that they’ll be a lot less tolerant of the kinds of crap that tobacco products contain…as they are.”
    Oh kaptin, totally! I wasn’t thinking about the mmj community (or even growers), just pondering about your “average” toker. Very good point.

    As for your home growers, it’s funny, most of us probably know someone who treats their plants like babies, organic this and that, but their own bodies? Well they will stuff whatever in it. I know an Eastern Euro guy who mixes tobacco and weed. o.O Ew. Why on earth someone would do that to something so good I have no clue. To each their own I guess.

  • Just me.

    What a scary concept: “legalized corporate ownership [and] legalized marketing.” That sounds like something that some kind of Capitalist Society might have. Not like a nice benign Nanny State that tells its citizens what’s best for them, and that sends armed and hooded peacemakers through the front door of their homes to make sure they don’t do something that’s bad for them.

    Thank God we have Keith Humphreys here in the states to protect us from the horrors of consumer choice.

    Ya dont ya just love that…Too hell with the tobacco companies…I got off thier highly addictive product years ago and Ill be damned if I will buy a pervesed product they would make out of cannabis. Tobacco in its self isnt addictive, its the additives they put in it thats addictive. I will grow my own pure cannabis thank you very much.

  • Negation

    ^ Tobacco in its natural form is the most addictive substance on earth. Tobacco plants produce nicotine naturally, it isn’t an additive.

  • Duncan20903

    It really kills me when people say that tobacco is hard to grow. What in the world makes people think that tobacco is hard to grow? Did you know that until a few years ago a tobacco farmer had to have a license to be able to legally be able to sell tobacco into the market. Did you know that these licenses were devised because otherwise the price of tobacco couldn’t be supported at a high enough price to make it a worthwhile commercial crop? It just isn’t particularly hard to grow tobacco. I’ve never understood what the people making this argument are using for the basis of their speculation.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=home+grown+tobacco

    People like to say the same thing about alcoholic beverages. I can only conclude that they’re unaware of pruno or it’s production process.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=pruno

    Outside of the one instance in Britain, has anyone ever heard of prison inmates growing cannabis?

  • Duncan, it may be partly to do with the definition of “hard.” For people who aren’t into making their own alcoholic beverages, and who can afford to buy what they like off the shelf, then producing alcohol is “hard.” (Just like there are some times I’m so lazy that I get annoyed when the package says you have to rotate something halfway through its 4 minute microwave cooking. That’s hard.)

  • Duncan20903

    BTW I do think comparing the potential cannabis market to tobacco industry isn’t valid even though it’s silly to think that only a couple of tobacco companies dominate (control) the tobacco industry. Comparing it to the wine industry is probably the more accurate comparison. I’ve never seen a tanker truck on the highway that says Ernest & Julio Gallo Wine Company on its side. Though when I was fresh out of school and waiting tables our ‘house’ wine was packaged in 5 gallon plastic bladders designed to easily be placed into our wine dispenser. Well perhaps the wine dispenser was designed to accommodate the wine bladders.

    It’s really not that hard for me to envision cannabis tasting as a profession and popular pastime with none of the cannabis tasters actually inhaling the smoke just like wine tasters spit out their wine.

    Not only that but cigarettes are not the entire product line of tobacco companies. There are an awful lot of cigar snobs out there. I must admit that a few months back I was trying to recall the last time I had seen anyone smoking pipe tobacco from a traditional tobacco pipe. There must be some still, I have seen pipe tobacco for sale.

  • Ben Smokes Pot

    Since cannabis is *like* alcohol and *like* tobacco but is also neither of them, but a perfect blend of the two, without the detrimental side effects, it truly needs its own industry, and its own labels.

    Also, do you guys think that the Surgeon General will place warnings on marijuana packages? Like cancer warnings although nobody gets cancer?!?!? Although THC kills cancer?
    If that happened, it would be like prohibition’s fucking ghost.