Fears About Cannabis All But Ignore Tobacco's Deadly Impact

Happy Memorial Day, especially to those of you who have served or have lost loved ones defending the United States. I’ve spent part of my Memorial Day weekend searching for stories that illuminate the unnecessary pain of Cannabis Prohibition, and how to turn those stories into assets in the fight against it.


Forbes Magazine’s website has become an interesting source for the good guys. You’ll remember when Malcolm Forbes was around in the 1980’s, he would land his helicopter on the party-yacht Donald Trump wished he had, then jet off to France to his Chateau, where he'd hop onto his Harley for a little ride, then hop on his hot-air balloon for a little glide.


My how times have changed.


Now, there’s a section on Forbes.com called “Sustainability” which is where I found:


Ending Tobacco Farming Could Free Over 4 Million Hectares Across 120 Countries


THE SCOOP

One would think this article is about vegetables, but it’s a nuclear missile aimed at the heart of the world’s most deadly drug.


Here’s the first sentence: “Tobacco is the most significant cause of premature death in the world, killing over eight million people each year and accounting for 25% of all cancer deaths globally.”


So I’ll stop right there and remind everyone that during humans’ 10,000-year relationship with the cannabis plant not one person has ever died from cannabis overdose.

I’ll also remind you that cigarette companies gave away cigarettes to troops during wartime because they knew “… consumer product preferences developed during years serving in the military would later translate into civilian market profits as service members left the military or retired.


And since it’s Memorial Day, I’ll remind you that tobacco’s annual death toll includes “… an estimated 500,000 Americans in 2020. (from The Conversation) - - which means that just last year, Tobacco killed more Americans than WW I, WWII and Vietnam combined.


DEEP DIVE

Some tobacco farmers are merely sharecroppers to their industry masters. “Philip Morris International-contracted farmers supplying tobacco are not yet able to make a living income, and the company’s goal is to reach this target, as well as ending child labor by 2025.”



How's that again? In the year 2021, a $72Billion multi-national company HOPES it can eliminate child labor in its industry?


Let’s talk about children. EVERYONE want to make sure children are protected from cannabis - the Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts recently went deep into Reefer Madness when he said "If you legalize marijuana, you're gonna kill your kids"


Meanwhile, on TOBACCO plantations in Milawi:

  • “Children start at age 5 … they weed the fields, they fertilize the tobacco plants and spray pesticides without protective gear."

  • Many of these children get “Green Tobacco Sickness” that occurs when the nicotine of the wet leaves gets absorbed through their skin, causing … child workers …to absorb up to 54 milligrams of nicotine per day… equivalent to 50 cigarettes.”

This is the reality in the surreal world of Prohibition: tobacco plantations pay farmers so little that they have to put the children to work, yet cannabis farmers can’t even get a bank account.


THE LOOP BACK

People remain up in arms about the danger of cannabis, but ending Big Tobacco could save countless lives, help farmers earn living wages, help end child labor, pull $Billions of tobacco-stained money out of politics.


But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, at least in the US

  • Cannabis in the US is at least a $50 Billion industry, and tobacco is about $13 Billion

  • Cannabis has 330,000 workers, tobacco has 14,000

  • Cannabis is on the March. Tobacco is fading away.

It seems that Americans would rather get high than die.


IMAGES:

http://www.advintageplus.com/1957-magazine-print-advertisement-ad-philip-morris-cigarettes-natural-smoke

https://unfairtobacco.org/en/child-labour-in-tobacco-growing/#


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