Pubdate: Sun, 31 May 1998
Source: Boulder Daily Camera (CO) 
Section: Open Forum 
Author: Tom W. Barrus, R.Ph., MBA



Your editorial, "Kicking the habit" (April 30) pointed out: "The tobacco
companies have argued that Congress never gave the FDA explicit authority
to regulate cigarettes ..."

Just another lie from the tobacco drug lords. Even the political definition
of drugs in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act states that drugs are:
"... (C) articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any
function of the body of man or other animals; ..."

Since the drug lords intend that tobacco affect the taste of man, it is a
drug. Tobacco is the only drug that could actually be classified as a
schedule I controlled substance since it: 1. has no medical use, 2. is
subject to abuse and 3. cannot be used safely under medical supervision
(400,000-plus deaths per year active; 50,000-plus deaths per year passive).

Yet, in spite of a so-called "War on drugs" (which is really "An insane war
on some drug users") and lots of pious rhetoric, especially from
Republicans, tobacco is still a legal product, only because it is
specifically exempt from the drug laws by name.

To debase the Constitution with the idea that the deadliest of all drugs,
tobacco - the drug that kills more people than all other drugs, including
alcohol, combined - should specifically be exempt from the drug laws, while
less deadly drugs are subject to these same drug laws, and pretend that we
have the equal protection of the laws is absurd. It has been said that
Congress cannot legislate morality. While true, it is also true that
Congress can legislate immorality.

Why should tobacco (and alcohol) be exempt from our drug laws? As a
pharmacist, I can attest that tobacco, a poisonous insecticide, has no
legitimate medical purpose. Still, is there any reason why an adult citizen
cannot engage in commerce, buy his poisonous tobacco, and poison himself,
just as long as he does not poison anyone else?

Let's demand that the General Assembly of Colorado repeal C.R.S. 25-5-402
(4)(a) and (4)(d), and make tobacco and alcohol subject to the Colorado
Food and Drug Act just like Tylenol and aspirin. Let's be honest and
restore the rule of law to our state and nation, instead of the rule of
money! Call your legislator today to demand that the exemptions of tobacco
and alcohol from the drug laws be repealed now! 
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Checked-by: Richard Lake