The differences between smoking cannabis and smoking cigarettes are evident and obvious to those of us in the cannabis community. Other than being grown in the ground and being smoked, there is very little else that cannabis and tobacco have in common.
But it’s important to remember that not everyone is as cognizant of the effects of marijuana as we are. In fact, there are many people still to this day that will tell you smoking cigarettes and marijuana are the same.
When I was in grade school I was told more times than I can remember that “smoking 1 joint is like smoking 20 cigarettes.” I know now, of course, that this statement has no basis in reality. But millions of kids just like me had that nonsense – and other similar nonsense – drilled into their heads for decades. A few years of growing Internet access can’t wipe away 80+ years of propaganda.
And although the clear differences between cannabis and tobacco are increasingly talked about in the mainstream press, there are still a lot of people the message hasn’t reached yet. This is why when people like Kevin Sabet compare “Big Tobacco” to the coming catastrophe of “Big Weed”, some actually listen.
So it’s important for us to continue to educate people about the vast differences between tobacco and cannabis and combat the lies we were all told growing up. While “Big Tobacco” executives spent decades trying to cover up the devastating health effects of their products, the opposite is true of marijuana. We are learning that not only is marijuana not dangerous, we are finding more positive health effects all the time. Everyone in the cannabis community, from CEOs to press to consumers, consistently calls for more research on the cannabis plant.
Cannabis companies have no reason to hide anything; the more transparency that surrounds marijuana, the more popular it becomes, and the more popular it becomes, the more marijuana that is sold. Cannabis companies want you to research their products and learn more about them.
We know this, but many don’t. That is why it’s up to us to keep spreading this information. Don’t assume that everyone knows what you do, especially if you have spent more time looking into the issue than others.
When you see someone making the ‘tobacco is like cannabis’ comparison, call them out on it. Propaganda can’t be allowed to stand unchallenged, no matter how obviously false we know it to be.