Author Topic: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol  (Read 8033 times)

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Offline adace

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Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« on: June 13, 2012, 11:48:42 PM »
Here are a few questions that have been on my mind lately: Why do liberals generally favor restrictions on tobacco, but oppose restrictions (except taxes) on marijuana if smoking either will give you lung cancer and, potentially, other types of cancer ? Maybe it has something to do with tobacco being produced by large corporations who advertise to children and engage in other unscrupulous practices, and having no potential health benefits? I just don't see why liberals who favor policies to protect public health such as banning transfats in NY are so eager to jump on the marijuana legalization bandwagon and downplay the risks that come along with smoking it. And for that matter, why do they not support reinstating the prohibition on alcohol? There is actually a report that says alcohol is linked with mouth cancer and that no amount of alcohol is safe (that's aside from all the other problems like liver damage).

Here's the report on marijuana and cancer: http://www.lutterworthmail.co.uk/news/health/cannabis-lung-risks-underestimated-1-3942697
Here's the one about alcohol and cancer: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/news/la-heb-alcohol-cancer-risk-20110711

So given this information, what's the deal with liberal triple standards? (I happen to be a liberal myself btw, but one who is questioning the positions of the liberal mainstream on these issues.)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 02:20:10 PM by adace »

Offline slycordinator

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 02:12:03 AM »
There is actually a report that says alcohol is linked with mouth cancer and that no amount of alcohol is safe (that's aside from all the other problems like liver damage).
Except the blog you linked to only shows some researchers cautioning against health officials saying that there is an amount in which the stuff is safe. It doesn't actually say "there is no amount in which this stuff is safe." Essentially, they are saying "We don't know what the safe amount is or if there even is one, so don't tell people that there is a safe amount." That's totally different from "We know there is no safe amount."

Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 02:41:43 AM »
There is actually a report that says alcohol is linked with mouth cancer and that no amount of alcohol is safe (that's aside from all the other problems like liver damage).
Except the blog you linked to only shows some researchers cautioning against health officials saying that there is an amount in which the stuff is safe. It doesn't actually say "there is no amount in which this stuff is safe." Essentially, they are saying "We don't know what the safe amount is or if there even is one, so don't tell people that there is a safe amount." That's totally different from "We know there is no safe amount."

Valid point. There is still more research that needs to be done to determine precisely whether or not any amount is safe. The point of the article though is to argue, quite correctly, that the dangers of alcohol, whatever degree of severity they are, stem not only from excessive drinking/alcoholism, but also from moderate or even light drinking just as tobacco and marijuana also pose immediate risks. Of course, the immediate risks from tobacco and marijuana (i.e. smoking your first cigarette/roll) are much higher than drinking a glass of wine. Nonetheless, despite the researchers' inability to define the exact risk threshold, the article makes clear that the risks of alcohol consumption have been very much understated. With that in mind, I would like to understand though is how health-conscious liberals who argue for public health laws such as banning smoking in parks can treat people's rights to consume alcohol and smoke marijuana as basic issues of personal liberty. How do they draw the line? How are they not being hypocritical?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 02:49:25 AM by adace »

Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 05:16:25 AM »
Most marijuana legalizers do advocate some type of regulation by the government. If marijuana was legalized, there's a good chance it would be handled similarly to tobacco- you'd have to be a certain age to buy it, you wouldn't be able to smoke it in certain places, you'd need a permit to grow it etc.

Imo, the only double standard is saying you can put one substance into your body but not another. Anyone who accepts the principle of self-ownership should support the legalization of all drugs, even the extremely harmful ones. If you're tweaking on meth and you attack someone, the illegality should stem from the fact that you attacked someone, not from the fact that you chose to ingest an albeit noxious substance.

Online cramx3

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 06:04:32 AM »
Marijuana isn't as bad for you as alcohol, tobacco, and fatty foods.

Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 06:12:02 AM »
Marijuana isn't as bad for you as alcohol, tobacco, and fatty foods.

That seems a little overgeneralized. Would a heavy pot smoker be better off than someone who eats lots of olive oil and has red wine and a cigar occasionally?

Online cramx3

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2012, 07:29:23 AM »
Marijuana isn't as bad for you as alcohol, tobacco, and fatty foods.

That seems a little overgeneralized. Would a heavy pot smoker be better off than someone who eats lots of olive oil and has red wine and a cigar occasionally?

Probably. Sure other things like exercising and what not should be taken into account, but in general I think so.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 08:06:06 AM »
The cancer risks from marijuana are entirely different than with cigarettes.  To begin with, nobody smokes 40 joints a day.  People smoke grass in extremely small quantities, in relation to tobacco.  Second, there are ways to mitigate the bad stuff that comes from smoking plant matter.  People who smoke cigarettes are trying to get the nicotine out of tobacco, which requires burning it.  People who smoke grass are trying to get the cannabinoids out of it which requires heating it.  In fact, burning it is the least efficient way to do so. Vaporizers are popular in places where pot's legal, which do away with the combustion.  Even for people who don't like vaporizers, bongs have come a very long way over the last few years.  These are options for people who live someplace they're allowed to smoke.  The rest of us all have to make do with joints, or pipes/bongs only when we're at home.  I'd call the cancer risk a problem caused by prohibition more than the dope itself.

Insofar as the alcohol comparison goes, the problem there is one of responsibility.  Drunks are notoriously irresponsible.  In fact, that's kind of the point.  Nobody drinks to become a sane, rational person.  Stoners have a tendency to act dimwitted, but rarely recklessly.  Simply put, one is conducive to responsible usage, and the other is completely contrary to it.   
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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 09:24:07 AM »
I've read a study before (no link so you can TIFWIW) that THE kills cells before they can become cancerous effectively meaning marijuana does not give you cancer. Not sure that's totally believable or a fact but its not nearly or even remotely as bad for you as tobacco.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 11:37:41 AM »
First of all, I don't fully trust some of those statistics regarding weed use. It contradicts my own personal experience too much, and also contradicts several studies I've read regarding it. I have more than one friend who have asthma, pretty bad asthma at that - since they've started smoking weed, they'd told me their lung capacity has actually gone up, and they feel the need to use their inhalers less. I've also met quite a few hockey players, and I think every single damn one of them smokes a lot of weed. Pretty hard to skate up and down the ice and play hockey, if you're lungs are in a horrible condition. Than in high school, the biggest stoners around were the soccer players. Again, it just begs the question of how it's possible.

I've read a study before (no link so you can TIFWIW) that THE kills cells before they can become cancerous effectively meaning marijuana does not give you cancer. Not sure that's totally believable or a fact but its not nearly or even remotely as bad for you as tobacco.

Nicotine is a horrible, horrible chemical. It basically screws up your entire bodies ability to correctly process DNA, leading to malfunctions and cancer. Pretty sure I've read the same study as you, and it dealt with how THC produces an enzymical response that stops lung cancer from forming. I've also seen other studies (though muchl ess trusthworth) that show lower lung cancer rates than the normal population.

http://www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/2/1/21

Quote
More people are using the cannabis plant as modern basic and clinical science reaffirms and extends its medicinal uses. Concomitantly, concern and opposition to smoked medicine has occurred, in part due to the known carcinogenic consequences of smoking tobacco. Are these reactions justified? While chemically very similar, there are fundamental differences in the pharmacological properties between cannabis and tobacco smoke. Cannabis smoke contains cannabinoids whereas tobacco smoke contains nicotine. Available scientific data, that examines the carcinogenic properties of inhaling smoke and its biological consequences, suggests reasons why tobacco smoke, but not cannabis smoke, may result in lung cancer.

And to tie it in with barto's last point:

Quote
It should be noted that with the development of vaporizers, that use the respiratory route for the delivery of carcinogen-free cannabis vapors, the carcinogenic potential of smoked cannabis has been largely eliminated

So ya, I'm not so sure there is a huge double standard. Most liberals I know think all of those things should be legal, with some regulations on them.

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2012, 11:58:06 AM »

So ya, I'm not so sure there is a huge double standard. Most liberals I know think all of those things should be legal, with some regulations on them.

That

Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2012, 12:21:45 PM »
Ok, I accept that tobacco is much worse than cannabis. However, I'm still not convinced that liberals don't have a double standard when it comes to alcohol. Given that the risks of alcohol consumption are understated, as I said earlier, why don't you hear liberals clamoring for more regulation of alcohol (i.e. how much you can drink, how alcoholic a drink can be made etc.)? If it's just because everyone likes/drinks alcohol, then that's not a good enough reason if the science suggests that more regulation is necessary. Of course, I wouldn't expect mainstream politicians to suggest such a thing as that would probably mean political suicide, but what about average liberals? Personally, I think they're huge hypocrites for not advocating more government regulation of alcohol. Also, here's another article that shows that alcohol should be taken more seriously: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/01/alcohol.harm/index.html

On a somewhat related note, I have a point to make about Ron Paul and his stance on marijuana. How can anyone call him a libertarian if he supports states' rights? Probably most states would continue to ban marijuana if they had the power to regulate it. A consistent libertarian would want both state and federal power curtailed. Just a random thought.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 12:36:08 PM »
Ok, I accept that tobacco is much worse than cannabis. However, I'm still not convinced that liberals don't have a double standard when it comes to alcohol. Given that the risks of alcohol consumption are understated, as I said earlier, why don't you hear liberals clamoring for more regulation of alcohol (i.e. how much you can drink, how alcoholic a drink can be made etc.)?

Two things:

1) Being an alcoholic, a sever alcoholic, on average, means you'll live longer than a tea-totaller. Moderate drinkers live the longest, but we need to keep the damages of alcoholic consumption in context, which is that, while it is bad, and leads to bad things, that's sorta just what life does to you.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/08/30/heavy-drinkers-live-longer-than-non-drinkers-study-finds/

Quote
Even though heavy drinking is associated with a higher risk of liver problems like cirrhosis and some cancers, heavy drinkers in the study were less likely to die than those who never drank. Time says the social aspect of drinking is why drinkers live longer.

Fairly sure I head of one study that tried to get rid of as many of the social benefits as possible, and it still came to the same conclusion.

2) There are regulations regarding how much one can drink. They're not enforced, but in at least several states, it's actually illegal to sell an intoxicated person a drink. In New Mexico, if someone has a BAC of .08, and you sell them a drink, you technically just committed a felony. If you sell someone a drink, and they go and kill someone while driving, YOU are held responsible. Beyond that, there are several regulations regarding what you can sell, where you can sell it, etc. For instance, in Montana, you can't get more than three beers at a brewery (not a bard, but the place the actual taproom in a brewery).

Besides, the biggest one, is that you can't drink until you're 21, and you get fucked up the ass if you're even caught in a car, drunk, with keys on you.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 12:38:03 PM »
I think the problem with where you're going is attributing this to the liberal and conservative schools of thought.  Both groups want to ban plenty of stuff they deem harmful to society.  Liberals are currently interested in things that are turning America into a nation of fat fucks, and conservatives are just as antsy about things they feel contribute to our moral decline.  I gather what you're getting at is that liberals are only interested in doing away with some things, but not things they like which makes them hypocrites.  Hypocrisy abounds at all levels.  This is no different than Republicans, who quite frankly are the the ones who should be up in arms about the horrors of alcohol consumption.  In the end, it's just a matter of both groups picking and choosing their battles based on what they like, what they hate and what they can get away with while maintaining a political edge.
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Offline slycordinator

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2012, 12:41:40 PM »
On a somewhat related note, I have a point to make about Ron Paul and his stance on marijuana. How can anyone call him a libertarian if he supports states' rights? Probably most states would continue to ban marijuana if they had the power to regulate it. A consistent libertarian would want both state and federal power curtailed. Just a random thought.
A strict libertarian would be against public funding for schools, yet many of them support charter schools. Why? Because they see it as a big step in the right direction. You could argue that the same thing is true of drug legalization; that you start letting each state legalize then eventually it's legal everywhere like you really wanted.

But on Paul in particular, he's clearly a strict constitutionalist. He's stated so on many occasions and stayed on that path. And his views just happen to dovetail in with lots of the ideals of the libertarians.

Liberals are currently interested in things that are turning America into a nation of fat fucks
Most of the people I've seen worried about food and how fat people have become from it are liberals

Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2012, 01:05:12 PM »
On a somewhat related note, I have a point to make about Ron Paul and his stance on marijuana. How can anyone call him a libertarian if he supports states' rights? Probably most states would continue to ban marijuana if they had the power to regulate it. A consistent libertarian would want both state and federal power curtailed. Just a random thought.
A strict libertarian would be against public funding for schools, yet many of them support charter schools. Why? Because they see it as a big step in the right direction. You could argue that the same thing is true of drug legalization; that you start letting each state legalize then eventually it's legal everywhere like you really wanted.

But on Paul in particular, he's clearly a strict constitutionalist. He's stated so on many occasions and stayed on that path. And his views just happen to dovetail in with lots of the ideals of the libertarians.

Well, if libertarians think that way then their logic is pretty faulty. They should consider California's Prop 19 which would have legalized and regulated marijuana. That went down in flames.  As to your second point, it's probably true that his views do dovetail with those of libertarians on many occasions, but supporting states' rights is guaranteed to set up a wedge between himself and libertarianism at some point.

As to El Barto's post, I think you're absolutely right about conservative hypocrisy on alcohol. But I think their hypocrisy is pretty well-known compared to liberal hypocrisy on the subject. I think it's ridiculous that conservatives not only use the criteria of moral acceptability rather than health, but even take campaign contributions from the tobacco and alcohol industries when their morality dictates they refuse them. As far as liberal hypocrisy goes, they should be arguing for measures such as increased alcohol taxes (especially on hard liquor) since they are so health-conscious, but it seems like they just say "Everybody drinks alcohol and everybody's fine with alcohol regulations the way they are so let's leave it at that" even if, according to their own logic, they should support more regulation based on the scientific evidence.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 02:29:20 PM by adace »

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2012, 01:13:01 PM »
I don't know if it always comes down to hypocrisy. The fact that many conservatives don't have a problem with alcohol, yet want to keep weed illegal, is probably much more due to ignorance than an actual hypocritical position. I'm more than sure there's a lot of hypocrites out there, but I don't think it explains everything.

Quote
Most of the people I've seen worried about food and how fat people have become from it are liberals

Eh, libertarians like to blame the government for this one, or at least there used to be a couple around here. I agree there are some people out there who want to put in bad government policies to try and solve the problem, but many more realize it's a sociocultural issue as well. Look at Michelle Obama. She's not trying to solve the problem by banning anything, she's trying to solve the problem by educating people to make different choices, and perhaps for schools to make different market decisions regarding food.

Offline rumborak

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2012, 02:10:04 PM »
The thread is already close to my tldr limit, but I'll just say that the mere thread wording was a big indicator that there wasn't gonna be much substance to the OP assertion.

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Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2012, 02:21:00 PM »
Since the marijuana issue has been pretty much resolved, I've changed the thread title to reflect it.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2012, 02:33:07 PM »
Since the marijuana issue has been pretty much resolved, I've changed the thread title to reflect it.
Fine.  Alcohol has beneficial uses and is only harmful if used irresponsibly.  Tobacco has no real benefit and is harmful simply by it's usage.
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Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2012, 02:35:49 PM »
The thread is already close to my tldr limit, but I'll just say that the mere thread wording was a big indicator that there wasn't gonna be much substance to the OP assertion.

rumborak
Well, I created this thread mainly as a way of getting other people's opinions to help me resolve this issue. It wasn't intended as an open-ended political debate as such even though there has been political debate in this thread.

Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2012, 02:46:48 PM »
Since the marijuana issue has been pretty much resolved, I've changed the thread title to reflect it.
Fine.  Alcohol has beneficial uses and is only harmful if used irresponsibly.  Tobacco has no real benefit and is harmful simply by it's usage.
From my first post: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/news/la-heb-alcohol-cancer-risk-20110711

Offline El Barto

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2012, 03:27:06 PM »
Even if we are to now accept a conflict in the data, and maybe alcohol is harmful, I don't think you'll find a soul alive who'll compare it to the well known harm from smoking.  Risk assessment is an important factor in everything, and there's really no comparison between the two.  Tobacco causes cancer.  Alcohol might or might not have beneficial or harmful effects, at least according to some Molson swilling canucks. 
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Ħ

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2012, 03:30:46 PM »
Tobacco only harms yourself (excluding cases of pregnancies and extreme exposure to second hand smoke ). Alcohol can easily harm others. Isn't that a strike against alcohol and not tobacco?
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Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2012, 03:51:33 PM »
Even if we are to now accept a conflict in the data, and maybe alcohol is harmful, I don't think you'll find a soul alive who'll compare it to the well known harm from smoking.  Risk assessment is an important factor in everything, and there's really no comparison between the two.  Tobacco causes cancer.  Alcohol might or might not have beneficial or harmful effects, at least according to some Molson swilling canucks.
I posted this earlier: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/01/alcohol.harm/index.html To come back to my main point, it seems that the reason this finding hasn't caused that much of a stir is that people are socially conditioned towards the acceptance of alcohol. Liberals who favor public health regulations seem to draw an arbitrary line on what to regulate based on popularity. In this case, tobacco and the tobacco industry are widely vilified by the general population so anti-smoking legislation will usually win at the ballot. However, in the case of alcohol, society's risk/benefit analysis is skewed so alcohol regulation is very unlikely to pass even though according to liberal health-conscious logic it should.

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2012, 04:12:28 PM »
The thread is already close to my tldr limit, but I'll just say that the mere thread wording was a big indicator that there wasn't gonna be much substance to the OP assertion.

rumborak
Well, I created this thread mainly as a way of getting other people's opinions to help me resolve this issue. It wasn't intended as an open-ended political debate as such even though there has been political debate in this thread.

You started a thread with the title that "liberals" have a "triple standard" with marijuana, tobacco and alcohol and then went on a two paragraph rant demanding to know why "liberals don't demand more regulation on alcohol" and basically implied (several times) that all liberals are raging hypocrites because of this, but you're now claiming that your thread wasn't intended as an "open ended political debate?"

Did you expect everyone to just say, "yeah, you're right, dude"  ?


Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2012, 04:55:22 PM »
The thread is already close to my tldr limit, but I'll just say that the mere thread wording was a big indicator that there wasn't gonna be much substance to the OP assertion.

rumborak
Well, I created this thread mainly as a way of getting other people's opinions to help me resolve this issue. It wasn't intended as an open-ended political debate as such even though there has been political debate in this thread.

You started a thread with the title that "liberals" have a "triple standard" with marijuana, tobacco and alcohol and then went on a two paragraph rant demanding to know why "liberals don't demand more regulation on alcohol" and basically implied (several times) that all liberals are raging hypocrites because of this, but you're now claiming that your thread wasn't intended as an "open ended political debate?"

Did you expect everyone to just say, "yeah, you're right, dude"  ?

Well, what I meant is that I started this thread to understand how someone could say liberals aren't hypocritical on this issue. It's for my own satisfaction (sorry if that sounds selfish). But you're right to criticize my poor choice of words. I didn't mean to say that we can't discuss things freely. Also, by "liberals" I only mean those who support tobacco regulation. Probably should have made that clearer.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2012, 05:01:37 PM »
Even if we are to now accept a conflict in the data, and maybe alcohol is harmful, I don't think you'll find a soul alive who'll compare it to the well known harm from smoking.  Risk assessment is an important factor in everything, and there's really no comparison between the two.  Tobacco causes cancer.  Alcohol might or might not have beneficial or harmful effects, at least according to some Molson swilling canucks.
I posted this earlier: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/01/alcohol.harm/index.html To come back to my main point, it seems that the reason this finding hasn't caused that much of a stir is that people are socially conditioned towards the acceptance of alcohol. Liberals who favor public health regulations seem to draw an arbitrary line on what to regulate based on popularity. In this case, tobacco and the tobacco industry are widely vilified by the general population so anti-smoking legislation will usually win at the ballot. However, in the case of alcohol, society's risk/benefit analysis is skewed so alcohol regulation is very unlikely to pass even though according to liberal health-conscious logic it should.
I don't really disagree with your latter point, other than to say that the arbitrary line isn't really based on popularity.  I don't think they're getting many huzzahs for the soda ban.  I'd attribute it more to getting bad advice.  But like I said earlier, both sides pick their battles based on what they can or can't get away with as much as anything else.  And, I don't really think this is a particularly liberal thing anyway.

For the first point, I'm a big fan of the risk assessment matrix, which is what the Brits now use to classify their drugs.  However, I disagree with their new classification of alcohol.  That matrix is based on many different criterion, and some of them are going to be heavily biased for alcohol.  In this instance, it's factoring in a great deal of behavior which they're automatically attributing to intoxication.  In this case, harm to society brought about largely through auto accidents and domestic assaults.  While it's true that people on heroin don't usually wrap their cars around telephone poles, or beat the shit out of their wives, it's also true that sober people do both of those things.  I also think the numbers concerning DUI are all largely mythical.  Don't get me wrong, I agree that alcohol is more harmful than plenty of other prohibited drugs.  I just don't think the findings of the BMA or ACMD suggest that prohibitions on alcohol would be warranted.
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Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2012, 05:32:01 PM »
Well, it could be that because of their failure to get traction on the soda ban, they're unwilling to push for alcohol regulations. After all, pragmatism is the creed of both Democrats and Republicans as you seem to imply. And as I said earlier, there is undoubtedly conservative hypocrisy on the issue in terms of so-called "social conservatives" bending over backwards to promote "free-market" policies and saying nothing about the moral effects of alcohol, gambling, porn etc. But for the purposes of this thread, I'm more interested in the hypocrisy of some liberals (i.e. those who support public health laws) on the issue since that's not as well-known/talked about as much. As to your second part, whether or not alcohol prohibitions are warranted is a bit beside my point. My point is that the issue is barely on the political radar if at all while things like tobacco and marijuana are the subjects of constant debate and legislation. (Sorry if I'm contradicting myself in certain areas. Sometimes it's hard for me to keep my opinions straight in the midst of a debate like this.)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 05:39:39 PM by adace »

Offline slycordinator

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2012, 05:44:03 PM »
As to your second point, it's probably true that his views do dovetail with those of libertarians on many occasions, but supporting states' rights is guaranteed to set up a wedge between himself and libertarianism at some point.
Why is it guaranteed? Even many people in the libertarian party support states' rights. Like everything else, it's not an all-or-nothing. I've known Catholics who don't believe in the dogma that children who die before baptism don't go to heaven and it hasn't set up a giant wedge between them and their priest.

Eh, libertarians like to blame the government for this one, or at least there used to be a couple around here. I agree there are some people out there who want to put in bad government policies to try and solve the problem, but many more realize it's a sociocultural issue as well. Look at Michelle Obama. She's not trying to solve the problem by banning anything, she's trying to solve the problem by educating people to make different choices, and perhaps for schools to make different market decisions regarding food.
Btw, I wasn't putting any blame on anyone. I misread your statement from earlier as saying that the liberals were the ones doing things in government that are making people fat. I was in a hurry and glanced too quickly at your statement.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2012, 05:53:38 PM »
Eh, libertarians like to blame the government for this one, or at least there used to be a couple around here. I agree there are some people out there who want to put in bad government policies to try and solve the problem, but many more realize it's a sociocultural issue as well. Look at Michelle Obama. She's not trying to solve the problem by banning anything, she's trying to solve the problem by educating people to make different choices, and perhaps for schools to make different market decisions regarding food.

Btw, I wasn't putting any blame on anyone. I misread your statement from earlier as saying that the liberals were the ones doing things in government that are making people fat. I was in a hurry and glanced too quickly at your statement.

I didn't mean to imply you were casting blame, just that libertarians do cast blame, and on the government. By the way, I'm not the one who made the original statement, but part of me aint too surprised if you confused me with EB.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2012, 06:02:10 PM »
Since the marijuana issue has been pretty much resolved, I've changed the thread title to reflect it.
Fine.  Alcohol has beneficial uses and is only harmful if used irresponsibly.  Tobacco has no real benefit and is harmful simply by it's usage.
From my first post: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/news/la-heb-alcohol-cancer-risk-20110711

If they're getting cancer, they're also dying later in life, on average.

Offline adace

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Re: Liberals' Triple Standard: Marijuana vs. Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2012, 06:03:19 PM »
As to your second point, it's probably true that his views do dovetail with those of libertarians on many occasions, but supporting states' rights is guaranteed to set up a wedge between himself and libertarianism at some point.
Why is it guaranteed? Even many people in the libertarian party support states' rights. Like everything else, it's not an all-or-nothing. I've known Catholics who don't believe in the dogma that children who die before baptism don't go to heaven and it hasn't set up a giant wedge between them and their priest.

Well I don't mean that state governments will completely oppose libertarian principles if they had more power, but neither will they completely favor them. States could end up imposing legislation on issues like gun control, marijuana etc. that's just as restrictive or even moreso than the federal government which would leave libertarians pretty disappointed. I don't see state governments acting much differently from the federal government if they were to be given more power. But then again, it really depends on what the majority in each state votes for and who's in power in each state. As to my example, the marijuana prop in California could be seen as an assertion of states' rights given the fact that federal law probably doesn't allow the state to even put it on the ballot in the first place, but it failed anyways because the majority opposed it.

Offline skydivingninja

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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2012, 06:38:54 AM »
Tobacco only harms yourself (excluding cases of pregnancies and extreme exposure to second hand smoke ). Alcohol can easily harm others. Isn't that a strike against alcohol and not tobacco?

Tobacco can also harm your family paying for your hospital stay when you come down with cancer.  Not to mention their grieving, funeral costs, etc.  I'm pretty sure there are environmental concerns with its use as well.  So no, no drug just harms yourself only, but Marijuana is probably the only drug that doesn't really harm others (plus, less harmful  and addictive than nicotine, not consumed nearly as often, etc.).  As for alcohol harming others, that's in the case of people who are not responsible, and those bad eggs shouldn't be a reason for more legislation on the majority of Americans who have their stuff in order.  Plus there are health benefits if certain kinds of alcohol are consumed moderately (pale ales and red wines have been focused) and culinary benefits (tell me you've had a good pecan pie without bourbon in it and I'll laugh in your face). 


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Re: Liberals' Double Standard: Tobacco vs. Alcohol
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2012, 10:07:09 AM »
Tobacco only harms yourself (excluding cases of pregnancies and extreme exposure to second hand smoke ). Alcohol can easily harm others. Isn't that a strike against alcohol and not tobacco?

Tobacco can also harm your family paying for your hospital stay when you come down with cancer.  Not to mention their grieving, funeral costs, etc.  I'm pretty sure there are environmental concerns with its use as well.  So no, no drug just harms yourself only, but Marijuana is probably the only drug that doesn't really harm others (plus, less harmful  and addictive than nicotine, not consumed nearly as often, etc.).  As for alcohol harming others, that's in the case of people who are not responsible, and those bad eggs shouldn't be a reason for more legislation on the majority of Americans who have their stuff in order.  Plus there are health benefits if certain kinds of alcohol are consumed moderately (pale ales and red wines have been focused) and culinary benefits (tell me you've had a good pecan pie without bourbon in it and I'll laugh in your face).

I was gonna say this but it's also incorrect to conclude that short of second-hand smoke, tobacco doesn't hurt others. Being addicted to anything will hurt others around the addict. In addition to that, second-hand smoke is a much more pervasive problem when the public sphere is brought into consideration: when you're an alcoholic and you're drinking in a bar, sure you might harm others by getting into brawls or something, but the substance isn't inherently harmful to others through one individual's consumption of it; people in bars drink alcohol. If you're smoking in a public place, like a restaurant, there's a reason there are smoking and non-smoking sections.
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