17 October 2019

Up in (and Down With) Smoke

I invite y'all to consider the following:

In making any finding under subsection (a) of this section or under subsection (b) of section 812 of this title, the Attorney General shall consider the following factors with respect to each drug or other substance proposed to be controlled or removed from the schedules:

(1) Its actual or relative potential for abuse.

(2) Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known.

(3) The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the drug or other substance.

(4) Its history and current pattern of abuse.

(5) The scope, duration, and significance of abuse.

(6) What, if any, risk there is to the public health.

(7) Its psychic or physiological dependence liability.

(8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this subchapter.

(21 U.S.C. § 811(c)) as to tobacco. Not just "vaping," but as to all forms. Without regard to the environmental consequences of tobacco farming or the impoverishment wreaked by tobacco products upon addicts.

So, why then isn't tobacco even hinted at for inclusion on Schedule I (highly subject to abuse, no medical use)? Might it be the number of enthusiastic campaign contributors whose fortunes trace (clearly and easily) back to slaveholders in regions critical to the Southern Strategy? Have I satisfactorily demonstrated that I can write a rhetorical question without adequate caffeination?

All seriousness aside, placing tobacco (and tobacco products) on Schedule I would be the intellectually honest thing to do. But, since we're talking about "drug policy," we're not going anywhere near intellectual honesty anyway, so never mind. <SARCASM> After all, it's as much a moral question as anything else, and it just isn't possible that Real 'Murikans from the Deep South would engage in immoral conduct that is nonetheless extremely profitable. </SARCASM>