“Today’s proponents of liberated personal life will be tomorrow’s advocates of state-sponsored paternalism.” –R. R. Reno
Major League Baseball’s considering banning chewing tobacco and New York’s considering legalizing weed are a perfect illustration of categorical confusion. After trolling tobacco for years, warning of the dangers of secondhand smoke from cigarettes, liberals are championing marijuana. Are they high or have they lost their minds?
The war on tobacco is not about public health. It’s about liberals fulfilling a fantasy of themselves as liberators of the working class. Liberals see their affinity for cigarettes and imagine they’re being exploited by “Big Tobacco.” Cigarette bans set them up to be heroes in their own eyes, when all they really do is jack up the price of cigarettes and put bars out of business.
States and cities across the country are placing similar restrictions on e-cigarettes, which produce no secondhand smoke, but a benign vapor. Their rational is the image of someone smoking—not the smoke, but the image—presents a public health risk:
“I have no doubt that there are some people who will benefit from e-cigarette use. Unfortunately, I am equally certain that there are people for whom the visible presence of e-cigarettes in their lives is an impediment to their healthy goals.” –Dr. Frank Leone, Penn Lung Center
“These are being touted as safer than cigarettes, but we don’t really know that. Just seeing people smoking things that look identical to cigarettes in subway cars, colleges and public libraries will tend to re-normalize the act of smoking and send the wrong message to kids.” –New York City Councilman James Gennaro
Government’s goals are explicit regarding tobacco. It isn’t minding how one person’s choice affects another. It is actively involved in that choice when it affects no one else.
Legal weed inspires no such liberal hand-wringing, because there’s no “Big Marijuana” business lobby to terrorize, and because weed is the new boss’s (same as the old boss) preferred escape from his generation’s failures. They don’t think to view their relationship with marijuana the same way, even though its effects on the mind are worse. Marijuana is a legitimate lifestyle choice made in complete sobriety and freedom, so it goes—unless it’s your kids threatening to throw their lives away, if Colorado drug dealer Jane West is to be believed:
It’s not surprising that Colorado mom Jane West has some firm ideas about her boys smoking pot.
“Absolutely not! Absolutely not!” she said.
What may be surprising is that this mom is on a marijuana mission, making the pot business women-friendly, reports CBS News’ Barry Petersen.
She runs her own startup company staging marijuana-themed social events like the recent Colorado Symphony fundraiser billed as BYOP, or “Bring Your Own Pot.” She also started a group called Women Grow where women can network with other women in the marijuana business.
There she met Genifer Murray who founded a marijuana testing company called CannLabs Inc. that went public last week.
“Like any other business, it’s hard, and tack marijuana on it and it’s even harder, and add on the fact that it’s a male-dominated industry, so I think we found comfort in each other,” Murray said.
Equality in the pursuit of something terrible doesn’t make it less terrible.
Further reading: “Just 1 gram and you won’t give a damn.”