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May-27-2009 06:58printcomments

Tobacco (Nicotiana Tabacum): America's Official National Poison

One of the real social and medical mysteries in the U.S. is that many consider cannabis cigarettes as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes.
Deadly and addicting at the same time

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I wasn’t surprised that a high court in the U.S. finally found the Tobacco Companies guilty of fraudulently advertising a very lethal drug which kills about 400,000 people each year and that is just the U.S.

The world total may be as high as 10 million. Who knows and who is counting? Why did it take 150 years?

Tobacco was once touted as a medicine helpful for coughing up guck from one's lungs. That guck was caused by the nicotine and the cancer causing tars from smoked tobacco.

By the way, nicotine, the drug in tobacco is extremely lethal. Field workers harvesting tobacco leaves can get enough nicotine on their clothing which is easily absorbed thru the skin and can cause death proceeded by some awful sweating, nausea, vomiting, dry heaves and severe diarrhea.

Many children (and adults) have died from eating a few cigarettes or maybe half a cigar. Some tobacco products have delicious flavors and what is the hazard of its slightly bitter taste – only death.

I have said nicotine is a drug. Folk medicine used tobacco spit on cuts and scratches. It would have been better to use even dirty water. It was also used as an intestinal worm killer, as an enema etc, but along with worms it frequently killed the person.

Nicotine is definitely a drug. At first it stimulates the adrenal gland to produce Adrenaline which is a total body stimulant. Simultaneously the Adrenaline causes an increase in blood glucose from the liver. Adrenaline and glucose give smokers the warm fuzzy feeling but every “coffin nail” puts one closer to death by cancer.

Another bad effect of smoked and chewed tobacco is various and sundry cancers on the lips, tongue and vocal cords – bad!

Tobacco is native to North America and was discovered by the Spanish and Portuguese who thought it was a fine exotic substance and brought it home about 1550. It got to the rest of Europe soon after and it was so addicting that various governments found they could tax it and make lots and lots of money. After all there is only about one cents worth of tobacco in a cigarette.

Tobacco smoke has its own warning system. The Germans smoked very strong Turkish tobacco and we could smell them down wind for miles.

One of the real social and medical mysteries in the U.S. is that many consider cannabis cigarettes as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes.

This is really strange because cannabis in any form has never killed anyone and has been used for medicine for about 5000 years. Tobacco has been extensively used for about 500 years and has killed millions.


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bill May 29, 2009 8:34 pm (Pacific time)

You know the real reason is its to easy to get people to give there freedoms for alittle comfort.

Daniel May 28, 2009 8:48 pm (Pacific time)

Lili the real question is if Marijuana prohibition causes more harm to society than good . Most die prematurely in this country from a fatty diet , alcohol and poisoned tobacco products . The health problems are not from pot smoking . The vast amount of money that is spend on enforcement and incarceration for pot could be better used in so many different ways to improve society . Many use this plant for a variety of medical reasons , others just like the tranquil euphoric feeling with out a hangover . Either use in NO reason to treat people like zoo animals , destroy their lives or their families . Please do some real research , read Jack Herrer , Chris Conrad or Terrance Mckenna for starters , to broaden your scope and find some answers .

Lili May 28, 2009 4:24 pm (Pacific time)

I've had one point this whole time: Just because one harmful substance is not as damaging as some other one is doesn't make the harm it does any less! I'm not telling people what to do, I'm just pointing out a fact: breathing in any burning material makes your lungs less healthy than if you don't. Marijuana is not the same as a vitamin that builds up tissues or is necessary for your body in some way. Why is it so hard to get a straight answer to a plain question? I didn't say I had proof that tobacco caused lung cancer slower, I asked if you knew which was worse? Are you really saying people who don't smoke pot are less healthy than those who do-like someone who doesn't exercise, or something? Does it build your body up or break it down? Do the lungs of pot users have healthier cilia than those who don't smoke anything? (Yes I know what cilia are, public school didn't fail me completely!) I'm just waiting for someone to give me a reasonable, honest answer. Tobacco and alcohol aren't legal because they aren't harmful, so why is that a reason to make marijuana legal also? Two wrongs don't make a right and pretending marijuana is 'perfect' is not truth! Can I finally get an objective answer?, because all I ever not had from people before smack of denial. Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is. Please respond.

Editor: Lily, there is no question that inhaling burning material into your lungs has negative consequences, pot or otherwise.  What Dr. Leveque recommends for medical marijuana users is a vaporizer, which heats the cannabis and releases the medical properties, but does not burn it.  The person using this device in his opinion, is not going to experience lung problems related to smoke.   There are also infinite ways for a person to use marijuana ranging from teas to capsules to brownies and virtually any other application a person chooses  I think in the end any person who lives in complete and total sobriety has a clear advantage over others.  I am realistic enough to know that people will always seek intoxication though and those who choose marijuana on a recreational level will probably go much farther in life than people who use alcohol in excess.  In that event it would be the lesser of the evils.  It doesn't kill a person's liver and brings great relief to an endless list of medical conditions.  I see no reason why we should legally regulate a flower that exists naturally on earth and lock up everyday citizens, while making the rest live as criminals.  Don't we have enough problems on this planet?  I sure think so.        

Daniel May 28, 2009 2:17 pm (Pacific time)

Lili the reason for the alcohol and tobacco comparisons is because these proven harmful substances are legal , and pot is not . BTW tobacco is poisoned with over 100 toxic and carcinogenic additives , refined sugar is not naturally occurring . We live in a society that has many harmful products that poison the air , water , land and food . It seems rather hypocritical putting people in cages for using a proven BENEFICIAL substance why the representatives of the people look the other way at the real abusers . Lili you can not be shown anything until you take the time to actually read the links provided to you by Tim ! Where is your link to back up your claim that pot is more harmful than tobacco ?

Anonymous May 28, 2009 2:12 pm (Pacific time)

At Lili, what doesn't make sense? If you don't want to smoke it then don't. But you can't tell me what I can or can't do. It's like the abortion issue. People who probably can't even have children telling others that they should not be allowed to do what they want with THEIR OWN BODIES. I believe in freedom. So long as my choices don't affect your life in any way, shape or form, why do you even care what I do? Most people that smoke cannabis get tired and hungry, eat some munchies, then pass out after laughing and having a good time with their friends. The whole 'natural' argument is legitimate. Psilocybin mushrooms are natural too, but they are illegal because they are dangerous. You don't see mushrooms curing any diseases or helping anybody do you? That's why they are illegal. Marijuana is illegal because pharmaceutical companies wouldn't be able to sell their worthless drugs and make their millions of dollars. Competing with people growing their own perfect medicine would be impossible.

Lili May 28, 2009 1:06 pm (Pacific time)

Tobacco and sugar and many other things are natural too; no one would recommend nightshade tea, for example! Just being natural doesn't always mean much. But are you really saying smoking a joint doesn't harm your body at all? The reason alcohol is legal isn't that it probably shouldn't be, (i.e. prohibition, and I don't know anyone that thinks tobacco isn't bad for you. But I am so very tired of hearing comparisons of pot with tobacco, alcohol, or hard drugs being presented as justifications for using it. Of course most things are much worse!; what does that have to do the physical, medical facts of marijuana? One has no bearing on the other! It's apples and oranges; it makes no sense!!! When it was discovered that saccharin wasn't a healthy sugar-substitute, did that make sugar any less bad for you, any less likely to contribute to diabetes, etc.? Of course not!!! I find the same flaw in the reasoning of pot-relativity! Once again, sorry I was so harsh in my first post, it's just hard not to be disgusted after awhile. If I am wrong, please show me? I do want the facts, but it must make sense! Thanks :)

Mike H. May 28, 2009 1:59 am (Pacific time)

At Brian Kerr : Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was speaking of smoking tobacco cigarettes regarding all of the health problems. Instead of saying "About cannabis", I should have said "In regards to cannabis." I know that cannabis does not cause any sort of damage and is actually helpful for treating many sicknesses, ailments, diseases, or what have you.

Lili May 27, 2009 8:17 pm (Pacific time)

My comments were referring to the average person in society, not those with special medical conditions, such as the terminally ill. (I knew a lady with cancer who used it to keep food down; you can't live long without eating.) I understand why veterans need help after what they've been through, but what does that have to do with the average person? Intoxicants/mind altering substances are not good for healthy bodies/minds. You didn't answer my question (and I really do want to know-sorry if I came across offensively.) Which is harsher and causes lung cancer quicker, tobacco smoke or marijuana smoke? I still don't understand why pot should be legal for everyone, instead of restricted to those with doctor authorization for their specific case (as it is now.) ?? Please do explain. :{

Editor: Lily, I am not a doctor, first and foremost, and Dr. Leveque can explain this much better than I. 

I will give it a shot; the theory is that cannabis smoke positively stimulates the cilia in our lungs.  Cilia is Latin for "eyelash." In this event they are tiny protuberances on single-cells organisms that are responsible for protecting us from germs in our lungs.  While Dr. Leveque believes vaporizers are the way to go, there is a school of thought that cigarette smokers who also use marijuana will probably minimize the negative effect of tobacco in our lungs.  Please appreciate that a person also commenting on one of Dr. Leveque's current stories this very day is Jack Herer; probably the top world authority on marijuana and its history.  I appreciate your point abou the general population not needing any intoxicating substances in their lives.  The issue is that millions of nice people use it and if that is their choice, how does that benefit society?  This is a natural substance, a positive and rare thing in this world.  We would be happy to  carry on this discussion, thanks for writing. 

Brian Kerr May 27, 2009 5:03 pm (Pacific time)

@Mike H. Your Wrong. New peer reviewed studies show that even LONG TERM HEAVY CANNABIS USE does NOT increase the risk of Head, Neck or Lung cancer and does not cause emphysema. The effects of cannabis are not the same as with Alcohol when driving. No one should drive impaired, but Cannabis is much less likely to be a contributing factor in car crashes. Studies have proved this. Get the facts visit and

Lili May 27, 2009 1:23 pm (Pacific time)

How can you say cannabis is not harmful??!! Breathing in any burning material is bad for the lungs, and I understand that marijuana actually is more carcinogenic than tobacco. Is it the other way around?, because obviously no two substances have exactly the same effect. Also, you can't have a truly equal comparison between the two when only one is mind altering. Should I care if a airplane pilot smokes multiple (tobacco) cigarettes before flying me somewhere? Pot is not the same. There are good reasons why it's restricted; doesn't take much common sense to understand it. Any doctor should know better!!!

Editor: Lily, this age-old propaganda has all been proven false and since you need some convincing, I suggest reading the articles that I took the time to include with this response to you. 

Also, our battered and broken soldiers and Marines returning from the wars overseas are far better served by cannabis than anything else, and that is a fact whether you believe it or not.   For some it isn't the answer, for some it is.  Some people have tremendous inner strength and get by OK, and there are those who manage the psych drugs sometimes help for a period of time. Some become alcoholics, some become morphine based drug addicts thanks to the VA, and some commit suicide.

But I have literally, hundreds of emails from members of our military who say marijuana is the best way for them to find relief, get sleep, keep their appetite up, etc.  By the way, it takes a lot of nerve to attempt to insult Dr. Leveque; his background educating doctors and treating patients is so long and extensive that it is almost unrivaled in the U.S.  Your borderline insult almost saw your whole comment flushed, but I would rather try to reach you than just delete you.  I have countless letters from his former patients, mostly former combat vets, congratulating him for his success and his endless list of accomplishments, not to mention what he did for them personally.  

 Breakthrough Discovered in Medical Marijuana Cancer Treatment

Medical Marijuana: Malignant Misinformation & Federal Foolishness

New Poll: 52% Say Marijuana Should Be Legal, Taxed, Regulated

This one by me, actually brought a response letter from Homeland Security's Asa Hutchinson who tried after the fact to explain to me that he clearly knows marijuana is not in the same category as methamphetamines, though he clearly associated them together during an MSNBC interview.

Are Former Homeland Security Undersecretary Hutchinson's Words a Death Sentence for American Kids?

Here is an article about what "actual" drugs, not the natural herb marijuana, have caused in Oregon

Drug Related Deaths in Oregon Continue to Rise

 Lily, we have many, many more.  This honestly is not the problem people still sometimes believe it to be.  There is a fascinating history and far, far more people use it than you would realize.  Some of Dr. Leveque's patients included police officers, high ranking military officers and at least one Oregon judge.

Mike H. May 27, 2009 12:31 pm (Pacific time)

Once again, a freedom issue. If you wanna smoke and breathe all that garbage into your lungs and risk getting all the possible diseases and cancers, go for it. That is YOUR choice. Just don't let me suffer from your choice. IE smoking in a public place. They changed that recently I believe, no smoking in restaurants or bars. Somebody out there does have some sense. About cannabis: go ahead, legalize it, let people do it. Just don't let them kill by by driving around high as a kite.

Daniel May 27, 2009 11:33 am (Pacific time)

Tobacco is made even more dangerous by the hundreds of toxic and cancer causing additives . But thats ok with the government regulators .

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