Tobacco use kills an estimated 480,000 Americans every year. That’s over 1,300 deaths per day.
Let’s put this into perspective. For several months, the mainstream media has been providing obsessive and unbalanced coverage of what it calls “the vaping health crisis”.
During those months, there have been a total of 21 U.S. deaths.
Every day, tobacco use generates more than 60X as many deaths. That is a “health crisis”. But smearing the legal cannabis industry with hype and innuendo generates better ratings for the Corporate Media than reporting the facts about tobacco use.
Cannabis use itself is killing no one. The deaths connected to vaping products (including tobacco vaping products) are coming from dangerous additives and unsafe manufacturing processes. In other words, this is a regulatory problem, not “a cannabis problem”.
In contrast, the 480,000 American deaths each year from consuming tobacco products is definitely “a tobacco problem”. The Tobacco Crisis.
Fortunately, real hope may be emerging to greatly reduce these tobacco-related deaths – and greatly reduce the countless billions of healthcare dollars spent treating tobacco addiction and tobacco-related illnesses.
Unlike tobacco (nicotine), cannabis is non-toxic and non-addictive. Nicotine is one of the deadliest poisons known to humanity and is as addictive as heroin.
Yet in the insane world of U.S. politics/regulation, nicotine use is legal, while cannabis is (federally) equated with heroin. The Twilight Zone.
This is going to change. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. voters currently support cannabis legalization. That number has been steadily rising. Even a majority of Republican voters now support legalization.
The vast majority of Democrat politicians are on record now as supporting full legalization. As the 2020 U.S. election approaches, do Republicans really want to position themselves as the Cannabis Prohibition party – and antagonize 2 out of every 3 U.S. voters?
Cannabis legalization will be coming to the U.S. after the election. The only question is which of the two Establishment parties will be sponsoring the legislation.
Back to The Tobacco Crisis.
There are two reasons why cannabis use (even smoking cannabis) doesn’t generate the massive death toll of tobacco use. First, cannabis doesn’t contain the 70 known chemical carcinogens that are in cigarettes.
Second, unlike tobacco, cannabinoids have bronchial dilation properties that actually improve the respiratory function. Smoking cannabis does lead to mild respiratory irritation. But there is no evidence it kills anyone.
The “nicotine de-addiction market” is valued at $21.8 billion, with 35% of that market originating in North America. And we now know that cannabis can be therapeutically used to break addiction.
The evidence comes in the form of an important new study among heavy opioid users (averaging 120 mg per day of morphine). A doctor working with 600 opioid addicts was able to get roughly 26% of them completely off of opioids after 6 months. An additional 55% of the addicts reduced their opioid use.
Here investors need to understand that it’s impossible to wean many chronic pain patients completely off of opioids. Their pain symptoms are too extreme. However, for opioid users whose consumption is primarily due to addiction, cannabis can help get them “clean”.
The difference with respect to the 14% of the U.S. population (46 million Americans) who currently smoke cigarettes is that none of these users needs nicotine. Indeed, it is literally killing them.
This suggests the potential for a much higher success rate in using cannabis to treat nicotine addiction. Currently, the most successful nicotine addiction therapy only has about a 17% success rate (one out of 6 nicotine addicts).
Opioids are also very addictive. Given the success rate of cannabis in breaking opioid addiction, cannabis may very likely prove to be the most effective therapy in curing nicotine addiction.
Obviously, one of the advantages of using cannabis to treat nicotine addiction is the tactile sensation.
Cigarette smokers can still “smoke”. The difference is that they will no longer be inhaling the 70 chemical carcinogens and the ultra-addictive poison (nicotine) they get from cigarettes.
Legal cannabis has always been a threat to take a major portion of market share from the tobacco industry. Cannabis provides far more user satisfaction than nicotine products. Without the poison. Without the addiction.
Now we see an even more-direct manner in which legal cannabis can be a threat to the death merchants of the tobacco industry. Reducing the number of nicotine addicts directly.
Obviously, this isn’t going to happen today. Or tomorrow.
The medical profession still needs an enormous amount of education concerning cannabis.
Few physicians understand that cannabis is non-toxic. Few understand that cannabis is not physically addictive. Few physicians know of the bronchial dilation properties of cannabis. And the report that cannabis can be used to cure opioid addiction is brand new.
Down the road, this is coming. Yet another multi-billion dollar market for legal cannabis. Yet another way in which legal cannabis can save lives (while earning dollars for cannabis companies and their investors).
Many investors won’t touch tobacco stocks because they don’t want to support the heinous toll of death, illness, and addiction associated with such products.
Many investors probably would also shun alcohol stocks – if they were aware of how much death and human misery alcohol produces. Alcohol kills 88,000 Americans per year (twice as many deaths as from opioids).
There are also all the illnesses, social problems and legal problems connected with alcohol use. The Alcohol Crisis.
Together, the alcohol and tobacco industries represent roughly $2 trillion per year in revenues globally. Over the long term, the cannabis industry has the clear potential to claim the majority of this market share.
If (when) this happens, cannabis investors will be richly rewarded. And the world will be a much, much healthier place.