The Progressive Paradox on Marijuana

The Progressive Paradox on Marijuana

Tobacco, bad. Vaping, bad. Marijuana, good, for some strange reason.

By The Editorial Board Wall Street Journal
Nov. 21, 2022

New York state’s Cannabis Control Board voted Monday to approve its first 36 licenses to run marijuana dispensaries. It’s another big step toward legal pot sales, though the black market isn’t struggling to meet demand, as every nose in Manhattan can attest. Meantime, the paradox in progressive attitudes toward marijuana continues to grow like skunk weed.

A study published last week in the journal Radiology finds that smokers who used marijuana (often in addition to tobacco), instead of tobacco alone, had higher rates of emphysema, airway inflammation, and other conditions. “There is a public perception that marijuana is safe and people think that it’s safer than cigarettes,” one radiologist told the Journal. “This study raises concerns that might not be true.”

Where might people have gotten the idea that marijuana is safe? To blame politicians for this would vastly overstate their persuasive powers. Yet it’s remarkable how liberal politicians have tried to take a rhetorical puff to fit in with the cultural cool kids. On April 20, which is cannabis culture slang, Twitter was a veritable haze.

“Happy 4/20 Colorado! You’re my best bud,” said Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper.

“Today is 4/20, a joyous occasion not only to celebrate weed, but to *seriously* commit ourselves to full marijuana legalization + ending the racist War on Drugs,” said now Pennsylvania Senator-elect John Fetterman.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said 4/20 is “about creating jobs and opportunities” and “supporting small businesses and farmers.” She tweeted a video of one of New York’s licensed cultivators, while adding: “We can’t wait to see his greenhouse in action soon!”

Can anyone imagine Sen. Hickenlooper making a Marlboro pun, Mr. Fetterman calling to “celebrate” cigarettes, or Gov. Hochul tweeting a PR video about a new tobacco farm? People differ in good faith about taking marijuana out of the shadows, but tobacco and vaping are legal and politicians manage not to celebrate them.