The Great Debate
Alcoholic beverages have been around for thousands of years. The Chinese had used it as early as 5000 BC. In 4000 BC Egyptians had already learned how to make twenty-four different kinds of wines and seventeen different types of beer. They were used for pleasure, nutrition, medicine, rituals, and remuneration funerary purposes. The Egyptians believed that wine and beer were important because of their major god Osiris was believed to have created it.
Tobacco had already been discovered by the time Europeans reached the Americas in 1492. It was studied by doctors and prescribed as medicine for some ailments until future studies showed that it caused dizziness, fatigue, and a foul odor in the mouth. Tobacco became one of the fueling products of colonization and also became a driving factor in the incorporation of African slave labor.
Marijuana has been used as an agent for achieving euphoria since ancient times; it was described in a Chinese medical compendium traditionally considered to date from 2737 B.C. Its use spread from China to India and then to North Africa and reached Europe at least as early as 500 A.D.
All three of these substances have been used ritually as well as for medicinal and personal use. Alcohol and marijuana are both still used in medicinal studies and even to treat some ailments. Tobacco on the other hand has become a multibillion dollar industry for big corporations pushing the product on consumers who become addicted to the substance many doctors have agreed is more addictive than heroine.
In 1920 through 1933 the United States joined the prohibition era along with many other countries. During this time mobsters reigned and used alcohol as their means of getting rich by smuggling it over the borders. Bootleggers brewed it illegally. Prohibition failed and ended. Alcohol became legal once again.
In moderation alcohol can be useful for many health issues. It was used as an anesthetic and still is to sterilize either surgical implements or even the site in which a doctor draws blood from. It is also used in many different medicines such as cough medicines and cold medicines. Over use can cause cirrhosis of the liver which is an agonizing way to die. Someone who is labeled an alcoholic cannot receive transplants for failed organs.
Tobacco is known to be processed with chemicals and known poison agents. It is also known to cause emphysema and many types of cancer such as lung and throat cancer as well as many others. It is also known to kill more non smokers than actual smokers from second hand smoke. There has not yet been a prohibition period for tobacco though I do not know if it would work anyhow due to its strong influence and addiction rates.
Marijuana is illegal all over the world. It is a known substance that inhibits the mind and also researched for medical studies in many states and foreign countries. California researchers have found that when smoked it reduces the size of lung cancer tumors by up to 50%. It has also been found to block the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s disease from getting into the brain.
This article is a controversial one to say the least. Why do we legalize a known substance that kills and has no value to us as people other than a money making industry and to please an addiction that we send people to rehab for if it is for any other substance? Why can someone who is a known smoker get a heart and lung transplant when an alcoholic can’t get a liver transplant or any other transplant for that matter? Why is a substance that so many people use whether they admit it or not and has medicinal properties illegal?
These are questions that I would love answered for myself as well as the public. Anything can be addictive either mentally or physically based on our own genetic configurations. Our bodies often lack certain elements that we have to make up for such as a pregnant woman’s craving to eat the strangest things including but not limited to clay due to a deficiency caused by the pregnancy.
If our nation is based on equality then I would say have the government legalize it all. On a more important note, why would anyone want cigarettes legal considering that the history of tobacco brought about the slavery revolution to begin with? If not tobacco then something else would have done it but it is a symbol of slavery to some none-the-less. In a contradicting country such as our own it’s time to speak out and take a stand.
If a smoker can blow smoke in my face and gamble on the fact that I may or may not get cancer, then why can’t a non smoker take a pistol with a single bullet and play Russian roulette with their life? American’s need to decide what is ethically right in our society. In some states spitting on someone is considered assault. Should blowing smoke in someone’s face also be considered assault or even attempted murder? This is just some food for thought.
Article by Kevin C Davison
“I write to entertain, and for a cause.”