Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Smoking of Anything

Another Andrew Sullivan post on decriminalizing marijuana brought to mind the recent passage of legislation banning smoking just about everywhere in South Dakota but under a blanket in your basement and made me wonder when those two ideas are going to collide. As usual, there are conflicting studies and opinions on the effect of marijuana on health. But it does seem reasonable to assume that there would be some negative effects - lungs aren't meant to inhale smoke from any source - and that those effects would increase with the increased use that decriminalization would bring.

So if decriminalizing were to proceed, then at some point the marijuana issue would become a smoking/health issue and would then pick up a new and formidable group of opponents who have been slowly winning a fight against one of the oldest and best-connected industries in American history. The question is how far along in the decriminalization movement this would happen. Would it kill whatever momentum may have built up? Will the marijuana bandwagon crash into the wreckage of the tobacco machine?