portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

arts and culture | drug war | health

Marijuana vs. Cigarettes

I am most likely one of the very few who actually believed that former president Bill Clinton was telling the truth when he said that he had tried smoking marijuana but he didn't inhale because he wasn't a cigarette smoker and didn't really know how to inhale. That's exactly what happened with me, a non-cigarette-smoker, the first time I tried smoking pot, but of course I persisted until I got it right.
I've been a pot smoker for at least 35 years, but recently I stopped for a month, just as a change of pace, and I had no withdrawal symptoms. I was simply aware at first of all the times I felt tempted, out of habit, whether it would occur before I ate, before I went to a movie, before making love, before listening to music, or before rolling a joint.

On the other hand, according to Dr. James West, outpatient medical director at the Betty Ford Center, "Smoking cigarettes is probably the most difficult addiction to break. Most recovering alcoholics who quit smoking will say that it was harder to quit smoking than to quit alcohol. About 70% of alcohol-dependent individuals are heavy smokers--more than one pack of cigarettes per day--compared with 10% of the population. Alcoholics eventually die from lung cancer more often than from alcohol-related causes."

Nearly 2,000 young people under the age of 18 become smokers every day in America. And yet, although the World Health Organization (WHO) spent three years working out an agreement with 171 countries to prevent the spread of smoking-related diseases, particularly in the developing world, the United States opposed the treaty, including the minimum age of 18 for sales to minors. Around the globe, tobacco now kills almost five million people a year. Within a generation, predicts WHO, the premature death toll will reach ten million a year.

Whereas, with marijuana, despite all the anti-pot propaganda, the worst that can happen is maybe you'll have a severe case of the munchies.

Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman writes, "Americans are fighting tobacco addiction at home while our government is supporting it abroad. In fact, the administration thinks tobacco companies should be allowed to market overseas in ways that are prohibited here--with everything from free samples to sponsorship of youth events. When it comes to tobacco, we are standing outside the world community like a nicotine junkie on a city sidewalk, huffing and puffing away."

In October 2003, Health Canada released the results of a study which found that more teenagers smoke pot than cigarettes. Fifty-four per cent of 15- to 19-year-olds said they had smoked marijuana more than once. Conversely, cigarette smoking has continued to decline among Canadian youths, with the latest national figures showing that only 22% of teens smoke regularly.

In the United States, on December 20, 2003, Associated Press reported on an annual survey known as Monitoring the Future (funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse), which tracked drug use and attitudes among 48,500 students from 392 schools. The study concluded that marijuana remains by far the most widely used illegal drug. It has been tried at least once by 46% of 12th graders and used by more than a third in the past year.

John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, stated at a new conference that surveys in 15 cities have found that more teens smoke marijuana than regular cigarettes. However, the drug czar added, "More kids are seeking treatment for marijuana dependency than all other drugs combined." He neglected to mention how many of them seek such treatment as their only option to prison time.

Interestingly enough, though, for those who are truly dedicated tobacco addicts, there is a porn Web site featuring Smokin' Hot Sluts--"the largest archive of gorgeous girls who love to smoke before, during and after sex." Internet seekers are invited to "Tell our live babes your deepest, nastiest smoking fantasies, and they'll fulfill your dreams."

But what are the smoking fantasies that site offers? "Fuck my smoldering hot ass!" "Lesbian smoke orgies!" "Slide your filter tip deep inside me!" And, as if intended specifically for Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, "Inhale and swallow!"

~ ~ ~

Paul Krassner is the author of Murder At the Conspiracy Convention and Other American Absurdities. Check out George Carlin's introduction at  http://www.paulkrassner.com.

homepage: homepage: http://www.corpse.org/issue_14/revelations/krassner.html
address: address: The Exquisite Corpse


Try eating it 21.Aug.2004 10:32

gerry

As a very avid biker, I found that smoking anything doesn't work for me. So, I started making Cascadian brownies. Not only does that form of ingestion take care of any lung issues (though pot isn't nearly as bad as cigarettes because most people smoke about a quarter of a cigarette's worth to get high), but it lasts much longer and feels much "cleaner" and more natural...to me, anyway. Anyhow, another great thing about my move to Canada is that they're reasonably close to legalizing pot here, and at the very least it's been decriminalized on a de facto level. They pretty much just go after illegal growers, but of course if the black market is removed by legalization, no more "problem" there.

I wonder how the step-up in border patrols will change things here. After all, marijuana is a huge cash crop in B.C. Or maybe it's just the beginning of an eventual usurpation of Canada's liquid gold--water. A very conservative old time Canadian I talked to here said "if the Americans decide they want our water, we sure as hell ain't gonna be able to stop 'em." And that bit of truth was spoken by a guy who, I'm sure, is more supportive of the U.S. than most, at least in my neck of Vancouver Island. I get the feeling that there was a sort of grudging admiration of the U.S. that's pretty much disappeared in the revulsion over these imperialist wars (and the especially heinous ways they're being conducted) and, perhaps, the realization that unless Canada joins the U.S. at the ass like England it might instead wind up more like Poland in the late 1930s.

Quitting smoking 21.Aug.2004 11:11

Wauchope

While your article is amusing, I don't think that quitting smoking can be rightly compared to a month-long break from smoking pot (or anything). Quitting smoking is a long process and one month of it is hardly enough to know what it is like. Three months is not even enough to really know what it is like to quit, let alone knowing what it is like to be a non-smoker. Perhaps a reasonable test for one would be to quit for a year or two. Then you could really say what it is like to quit smoking (anything). I have previously quit smoking for 3 months, and felt totally justified in starting again because I felt that I had given it a real effort. Five years later I quit again, this time I haven't started again and it has been three years and counting. Now I really feel I know what it is like to be a non-smoker.
True, it may be easier physically to quit smoking pot, but the hardest part of quitting any drug is the adjustment to life without it- as you said- getting used to not smoking/doing a drug at certain times. That is the hardest part indeed. I have never learned to love marijuana, thankfully, but I have several friends who have/do, and who have told me that is is quite hard to quit using on a permanent basis. If you are going to compare the two to each other, I suggest you compare quiting them both permanently, and please don't bother counting a month long vacation. It may have been an interesting experience for you- to note how often you actually smoke or are tempted to smoke- but it is not truly quitting.

Love Pot's Effects but... 21.Aug.2004 12:24

me

...it is still incinerated organic material and can still lead to serious lung disease if continued for too long.

Tried it, didn't inhale 21.Aug.2004 16:33

Nebore

My daughter, who has been a pot smoker for years, asked me to give it a try. She said it would be new experience for me. So I took a reefer and curled my lips around it, sucked in my cheeks to make the smoke enter my mouth, and that was it. To me the taste was awful,and I immediately took the reefer out of my mouth. Not one tiny bit of smoke entered my throat. I certainly did not inhale.

So take Clinton's word for it. It's very possible to try pot without inhaling it.

I can live without it 21.Aug.2004 16:41

but it should be legal

Smoking pot affects one's ability to concentrate. Difficult to concentrate when trying to read or write or think things through.
Perhaps it is good for relaxing, but getting high on pot does kill the motivation to complete anything.
Chronic pot smoking affects a man's fertility and enhances diffidence neither desirable affects in young men.

Other than that I believe weed has it good points and has been so propagandized that the truth concerning pros and cons of the substance is even harder to come by.

When the asteroid hits... 21.Aug.2004 20:46

Pravda or Consequences

is when guilt no longer matters.

... 09.Nov.2004 11:43

Penelope

I believe that is entirely false. Being in that state of mind might alter your senses but not every person is affected in the exact same way. People usually regulate how much they smoke.

pot=good 21.Nov.2004 16:53

alicia

Pot has never killed anyone. it would take more than 2000 joints in one sitting for a person to die wich is obviously imposible to smoke. i smoke pot everyday, go to school high and love it. i keep a B average and have smoked for almost 4 years now. everyone that smokes ciggarettes can go right ahead and die of lung cancer way before i ever will. You smoke ciggarets because you like to smoke something. so why dont you just smoke pot. its less harmful, all natural, no poison, and you get something out of it! like getting ripped. and i dont even get the munchies anymore. there are no bad side affects of weed and never will be. Mary Jane is the best thing ever so light up my friend!

Marijuana, greater than and equal to Good 29.Nov.2004 08:53

George M. Bush xtremesk8er05@aol.com

Everything in this world is a drug, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Coffee, exctasy, Life Savers, and yes, Marijuana. I would have to say the best of these is, Life Savers. BUt in a close second comes Marijuana. Have you ever met a bilemic person? What do you think would happen to her after she smoked some sweet cheeba? Well, I don't think she'd be bilemic anymore. My point is, look at the facts Jacks. Cigarette smoke stays clinged to the walls of your lungs for life doesn't it? Isn't it true that if you stop smoking pot for about two months, your lungs will begin to clear up of the carcinogins from pot? Yes, there may be cancer causing thinhgs in smoking marijuana, but it isn't a parmanently damaging thing like cigarettes. If you drink too much alcohol, depending on your weight and ability of consumption, YOU CAN DIE of alcohol poisoning within hours. As someone stated before, you need over 2000 joints of marijuana smoked before it becomes leathal. There are so many different kinds of cigarettes, alcohols, and exctasy, that are at least 10 times more harmful than any naturally grown marijuana plant. If all these other drugs are legal (excluding exctasy), why isn't marijuana? Isn't it our right as Human Beings, American citizens, and as a society to have the choice to smoke marijuana or not? Our laws here in America are febal minded and only please the majority when it comes to this subject, and I am appalled. Quoting Ben HArper, "My choice is what I choose to do. And if it ain't causin no harm it shouldn' bother you. Yout choice is what you coose to be and if it ain't causin no harm then you're alright with me."

alicia is 3/4 retarted 30.Nov.2004 05:14

suck my balls

your have smoked yourself stupid..i too am an avid pot smoker, but being happy with a b aberage and toking up before school is downright silly.

smokin a cannon now 03.Dec.2004 08:05

alicia

i am at school in the library getting high with the principal i would like to come out of the closet and tell evryone here i am a lesbo and i love to take shot guns out of myu girlfrind ;) pot rules!!!!!!!

Athletes and Pot 07.Dec.2004 15:23

martin martincnyack@hotmail.com

I first tried pot in High School but never really smoked more than once or twice a month. Currently I am in my senior year of college. I am a scholarshiped athlete at a NCAA D1 school and I smoke pot. I allways wondered how so many successfull athletes can and do smoke up. As far as I have found I can only smoke after I have finished all I need to do. i.e. papers, practice workout e.t.c. but as far as my lungs go I am ranked in the top 75 collegiate athletes in the D1 Cross country circuit and I really don't think it has had an adverse affect. Does anyone else care to chime in?

dont smoke 13.Dec.2004 20:39

but support it!

i dont smoke, but it pisses me off that its not legal and cigarettes are. cigarettes=bad pot=much, much better (plus then you can really enjoy the wizard of oz...)

POT IS BAD 23.Dec.2004 11:54

NOONE `

pot sucks try harder drugs ...if you shoot up ....you don't worry about lung cancer

Legalize It 19.Apr.2005 08:21

Roy MacDonald bigmac_1087@hotmail.com

I smoke pot on a frequent basis. Knowing from experience, marijuana is impossible to overdose and die off of. However you can puke on large quantities. Don't u think it is stupid that citizens in our worl can smoke cigarettes with chemicals like rat poison, ammonia (toilet cleaner), acetone (nail polish remover),carbon monoxide(car exhause fumes)etc. To me, smoking toxins in cigarettes seems more harmful then smoking marijuana, that has only 1 mind altering chemical T.H.C. but has about 400 less harmful toxins. Yes, marijuana does affect the body but it is only one of the few risks we take everyday, such as spraying pesticides and insecticides. What about when we go driving downtown, you take a risk of being in a car accident. My point is, give society the right of freedom and even if it is never going to be made completely legal, put an age limit on it.

UM.. SMoKing PoT 28.Apr.2005 05:32

none of you business

i think that pot can be a good thing to some people.. but just like stupidity.. dont abuse the privilage of having the option to do it

I LOVE CANNABIS 28.Apr.2005 05:35

SHANIQUA

i love pot so much i smoke it 2000 times a day for roughly 6 years and im not dead.. shoot i can still type... ha do it!!

marijuana 29.Aug.2005 10:44

lorna ashloma@yahoo.com

I love marijuana and i used to smoke it in my home country in Africa.The herb is good for you and makes you feel irie.The herb is considered a Sacrament by the RastaFarians and we smoke it for a different rason.The youth of today just smoke it to get high and go crazy.We from Africa do it for another reason.
Understand why people smoke it,dont just do it.Marijuana is natural.
Jah Bless

620-314-4538

Pot effects motivation 27.Sep.2005 19:13

Cole Iloveveedub@yahoo.com

I disagree, I believe that in some ways you are more motivated...some of the best art that I have ever produced was when I was high. not too mention the fact that it only feels like you are working on something for 5 minutes and it is really an hour.

Pot good for school 23.Dec.2005 09:19

I love pot

the onely rason that i am passing school is because of pot i cant stand school n i would be failing because i would be bored so i would skip pot but pot keeps me in there n i dont get bored......SMOKE UP...

strength 23.Dec.2005 17:00

gecko

my friend brandon never smoked up. he holds records for squating 450 pounds. i told him to try it. he did and liked it. a couple weeks later he was able to squat 500 pounds. he used to bench 180. now he can bench 210.when i smoke pot. i can do anything twice as beter and faster. i smoke weed b4 school and lunch. im sitting at a's and b's. i have learning disbilities. before when i didnt smoke pot. i never had those grades. NEVER. my granny was bitchin about how i smoke pot. i told her i like to smoke somthing so what would u rather me smoke. ofcorse she said nuthing. i told her nope. what would u rather me smoke. thats when i said lets look at everything u can smoke and see what is least dangerouse. and sure enough. marijuana is the most harmless of all.

Nothing wrong w/smoking 03.Jan.2006 21:39

Regular stoner

I am a 22 yr old female who smokes pot on an every day basis and it helps me in many differant ways. back when I was 16 years old is when I was first introduced to the drug world by the time I was 18 I was hooked on cocaine, pills. I was a real bad cocain addict and pill head but after surviving 4 severe overdoses I thought to myself that obviously god had a reason for wanting to keep me here so I vowed to myself that I would come clean it was very very hard to do but dammit it is possible Iv'e been clean from cocain for about a year now and clean from pills for about six months and pot has helped me enourmously with my nerves and it has helped me cope with the temptation of starting back up. I am a proud pot smoker I know pot has gottin me through some really rough times.I know pot isn't good for you any kind of smoke you inhale into you lungs is of course harmful but it isn't any worse than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and thats legal. so to my fellow smokers, be safe, be free, be high.

hmm 20.Jan.2006 22:49

me..

Pot doesn't cause cancer. Find me one cancer case that was caused by pot. It has killed no one which means cancer doesn't form from cannabis smoke. Hell it's used as part of treatment for cancer patients; are you now saying that we are giving them medicine that's going to give them more cancer? All marijuana research was destroyed in the late 70's because it didn't show that it was dangerous like they wanted it to show, not to mention that it was initially made illegal because of immigration problems. Pot is a medicine for some asthma sufferers because it opens air passageways and allows more oxygen to enter the lungs, whereas tobacco smoking constricts them. 90% of tobacco related deaths are from the chemical pologain(sp)210, which is *radioactive* and is found in chemically grown cigarettes. The lead 210 also found gives the pologain 210 a half life of 21.5 years in the lungs, but because of pot's lung cleaning assistance, it helps to clear out those harmful chemicals quicker by allowing more oxygen to enter the lungs. Both of those chemicals in tobacco are put there by manufacturers who refuse to use organic fertilizers because its more expensive than chemical ones. These chemicals form hot spots on the lungs and over the long term, will change the DNA structure of that area which causes cancer. Cancer forms and thrives in a low oxygen environment which also makes pot a cancer deterrant more than anything else. THC also acts as an antioxidant and actually *protects* brain cells by neutralizing free radicals rather than the popular opinion that it causes brain damage.

I have been smoking organic tobacco instead of cigarettes and I can feel the difference. This tobacco has 10x more nicotine and no cancer causing chemicals. It's not the tar that causes the cancer; it's what is in the tar. Marijuana has no cancer causing chemicals in it and in fact, may prevent cancer from forming in the lungs.


"The active chemical agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered." The researchers "found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent." Aug. 18, 1974 in the "Local" section of the Washington Post. The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research, according to Jack Herer ..." reports Raymond Cushing, "Pot Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74"

point is 09.Nov.2006 12:21

the people michael_stakes@yahoo.com

well it doesnt matter if it IS bad or NOT... we humans have rights and if we wanna go and kill ourselves then by damn were allowed too!
more so... cigareetes and alchohal combined (not together but the effects) are pretty much the same as pot and theyre legal and alchohal can kill u pot cant
I wish to legalize pot contact me for some info

Oh sweet maryjane 17.Nov.2006 10:50

JP hckyj7@yahoo.com

Mary jane has been my friend for a good 3 years now, i am a hockey and lacrosse player that competes at D1 level. I get good grades and smoke atleast once every 2days. Pot can become an addiction, but only a mental adiction, dont abuse pot.

DAMN that shits good 21.Nov.2006 02:45

long schlong

weed is not just a drug its a lifestyle u dont do weed to be cool u do it cause its so wondifully great. i smoke at least 3 times a day and im a full time student at high school.this means im constantly high. hooray for me. weed, weed, weed the magical pip the more u smoke the more u trip.

Im gonna Mari Juana 16.May.2007 10:32

Maryjane

So, you thought it was the tar that caused cancer... Think again. Cigarette companies will have you believing anything just as long as you continue to buy their products. The fact is, although insoluble tars are a contributing factor to the lung cancer danger present in today's cigarettes, the real danger is radioactivity. According to U.S. Surgeon General C. Everette Koop (on national television, 1990) radioactivity, not tar, accounts for at least 90% of all smoking related lung cancer.

Tobacco crops grown in the United States are fertilized by law with phosphates rich in radium 226. In addition, many soils have a natural radium 226 content. Radium 226 breaks down into two long lived 'daughter' elements -- lead 210 and polonium 210. These radioactive particles become airborne, and attach themselves to the fine hairs on tobacco leaves.

Many people think smoking marijuana is just as harmful as smoking tobacco, but this is not true. Those who hold that marijuana is equivalent to tobacco are misinformed. For example the Berkeley carcinogenic tar studies of the late 1970's concluded that "marijuana is one-and-a-half times as carcinogenic as tobacco." This finding was based solely on the tar content of cannabis leaves compared to that of tobacco, and did not take radioactivity into consideration. (Cannabis tars do not contain radioactive materials.)... "

I LOVE POT! 15.May.2008 16:03

Samantha soccasbc_22@yahoo.com

pot is one of the best things in the world to relax with .. Its all about the way you use it though, When ur high dont be dumb, use it in a creative way or "vandilizing ideas". I believe everyone in the world should smoke weed if they dont already!

1*781*724*4569