Friday, February 5, 2021

More smoke

One of the landmark legal milestones of the 1990s was the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Cigarette companies were massively held responsible for public costs incurred due to the detrimental health effects of tobacco. Tobacco companies are paying $206 billion to states over 25 years ending in 2025. There are still four years left to go on those settlement payments.

Before these reparations are fully paid, policymakers are now moving in the opposite direction. Today, the Virginia Senate voted 23-15 to pass SB 1406 to legalize “simple possession” of marijuana.

Professor John A. Henry in London published a study showing, “Smoking cannabis, like smoking tobacco, can be a major public health hazard.” Smoke both and the effects are even worse.

Why are we doing this? Why are we holding up “retail” marijuana as a path to equity?

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