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If a substance has physical health side-effects (and this includes anything you smoke, like marijuana), then it should remain illegal.
I only ask for a scientific approach to assessing new substances:-Is it so addictive that it will lead to unreasoning behaviour where the victim will do risky things that no rational person would choose to do? I include things here like starving your children to get more drugs, robbing people in the street, sharing needles, etc.Does it have adverse health effects if consumed in sensible quantities? Does it have health benefits?What is a sensible quantity?Does it have health effects on others? How can we limit this? This may mean banning it from certain activities like driving or flying.Does it have economic effects on others (positive or negative)? If negative, this may mean that it becomes fair grounds for dismissal from work - and even dismissal from unemployment and health benefit schemes.Sugar and aspirin certainly should be subject to the same considerations!...In the absence of getting informed consent from the entire population, governments must make an informed choice on behalf of the population - hopefully informed by some objective evidence.
With what we know now, tobacco could not be declared "safe for human consumption" by smoking. I heard that a study of cancers in bodies from archaeological sites showed a similar incidence to today's population - except for an excess of lung cancer in modern populations, which was attributed to smoking. I haven't seen the same evidence for less-popular modes like chewing or snorting tobacco.
Problem drug use and drug harm is a small percentage of overall drug use.
QuoteProblem drug use and drug harm is a small percentage of overall drug use.A statistic quoted on the "Addiction" episode of Naked Neuroscience is that about 20% of humans (and laboratory rats) will become addicted to a given substance.That is not a particularly small percentage.