I find it rather intriguing that, while tobacco is gradually becoming illegal, marijuana is gradually becoming legal.
A long-awaited law in California kicked in today allowing anyone 21 and older to purchase marijuana at licensed shops, grow up to six pot plants at home and possess up to an ounce (28 grams) of the drug – joining Colorado, Oregon and Nevada’s expansion into recreational use by adults…
The new pot laws include several specific provisions governing its use; no smoking pot in public areas or anywhere cigarettes aren’t allowed, while traffic laws prohibit marijuana use in vehicles – smoked or ingested, even riding as a passenger.
Cannabis cannot be sold before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m., and diespensaries and similar busineses can’t operate within 600 feet of any school – and must maintain 24-hour surveillance for security reasons.
My reading of all this is that marijuana and tobacco (along with vaping) are attaining an approximate parity with each other. They’re just different things that people smoke or inhale. But pot smoking and vaping are prohibited in the same places that tobacco smoking is prohibited – for as far as the prohibitionists are concerned, they’re all the same.
In principle, a wide range of smokers and vapers should now start pushing for smoking bans to be relaxed for all forms of smoking. They should be able to form a united front.
Something similar happened when cigar and pipe smoking got lumped in with cigarette smoking. They all became the same too. And when vaping appeared, that very quickly became the same as well.
And the more things that are prohibited, the more people find themselves being subject to restrictions, and the greater the pressure they exert against those restrictions. While pot smokers and tobacco smokers and vapers regarded themselves as separate and distinct from each other (and superior to each other), the less likely they were to unite together against restrictive legislation. But when the law treats them as being all the same, the law itself must act to unite these disparate groups against it. And the law is the only thing that really matters.
So I expect to see these different groups gradually taking up common cause with each other, simply because the law increasingly treats them all the same. It’s the same with alcohol: if beer and wine and spirits are all treated the same way by the law, beer and wine and spirits drinkers are likely to unite against prohibition. I imagine that during the Prohibition era beer drinkers would claim that beer was less intoxicating than wine, and wine drinkers would claim that wine was less intoxicating than whisky, and each would seek separate exemptions from Prohibition. But when they were all treated the same, they all became the same product, just with different labels. Perhaps Prohibition ended when previously rival products like beer and wine and whisky were gradually united by Prohibition laws which lumped them all together. The Prohibitionists themselves created the counterforce that ultimately defeated them, and they did it using blanket bans that applied to everything alcoholic, and thereby ensuring that the counterforce would be very powerful.
I hope that makes sense.