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If smoking is so bad for us, why legalize marijuana?

Date published: 1/26/2014

If smoking is so bad for us, why legalize marijuana?

Regarding "Reefer madness: Why the big rush to legalize pot?" [Viewpoints, Jan. 19]: I've heard on the news and read several articles this past week related to how cigarettes are more addictive than ever. There was a New York Times editorial on Jan 19: "Smoking is worse than you imagined."

Smoking kills even more Americans than previously estimated with 480,000 per year dying from smoking-related illnesses. This costs us between $289 billion and $333 billion in medical care and lost productivity. The article states expectedly that the cause of all the deaths and costs are due to marketing from the tobacco industry freely not the individuals who choose to smoke.

The solution? The FDA should put regulations on all tobacco products. Thanks to the government, they will protect us from ourselves. This in addition to Obamacare, which will for the most part restrict all tobacco products so that the government will save all of those billions of dollars, right?

You may ask why I am referring to "Reefer madness." Well, is this some kind of dichotomy, oxymoron or yin-yang thing that Colorado and soon Washington state, among others including our neighbor Maryland, will pass legal/social marijuana use? This will ultimately be yet another way to increase taxes, but is it not going to cause the same cancers and illnesses that cigarettes do?

All in all, I'm happy that the politicians are in charge. They'll take care of all of us and make sure that Obamacare saves us all those billions of dollars being spent on medical care and lost productivity regarding cigarettes or reefer madness. Right?

Mark Janda