Drugs (Except Nicotine) Win on Election Day

Americans sent a clear message on Election Day that it is time to end the war on drugs. Every ballot measure to decriminalize or legalize drugs received overwhelming approval from voters. There was, however, one notable exception: nicotine.

Voters in five states approved marijuana legalization measures. Arizona, New Jersey and Montana approved recreational marijuana, South Dakota legalized both medical and recreational, and Mississippi legalized medical cannabis.

Meanwhile, Washington D.C. approved a measure to decriminalize a number of psychedelic drugs, including “magic mushrooms.” Oregon voters also approved the use of psilocybin mushrooms and decriminalized possession of small amounts of all illegal drugs.

Oregonians, however, also voted to impose a 65 percent tax on nicotine vaping and heated tobacco products.

Additionally, state legislatures around the country are considering or have instituted bans on certain flavors or types of nicotine vapor products. Yet, these non-combustible sources of nicotine are substantially less harmful to health than smoking and are among the most effective means of helping smokers quit their deadly habit.

How is it possible that Americans have grown more tolerant toward “hard” drugs and more intolerant toward a functionally harmless drug like nicotine? The answer seems to lie in the accepted narratives that surround these different substances.

Though most Americans do not use cannabis, a majority now recognizes that criminalizing it is costlier and more harmful than its use.

Legalizing cannabis, and increasingly other drugs, is now viewed as a means of preserving personal choice and pursuing social justice. These priorities should be part of the debate surrounding nicotine vapor products, but, thanks to well-funded misinformation campaigns, they aren’t.

Anti-tobacco outfits have misled the public into believing that nicotine vapor products are just another Big Tobacco product, that they are no less harmful than smoking, prey on minority communities, and threaten public health.

With ample funding, including from Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates, they have flooded news media with scare stories about youth vaping and vaping-related illness, and convinced a majority of the public that nicotine in any form is harmful (except in a patch, gum, or lozenge produced by pharmaceutical companies). All of those “facts” are wrong, but it hasn’t stopped them from spreading.

The academics, activists, and health professionals that comprise the tobacco control industry have recently faced a conundrum. After decades of warning about the dangers of smoking, reductions in the behavior had slowed.

Read the full article at Inside Sources.