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  1. 5-HT2A
    It turns out that the history of Big Tobacco companies and marijuana is more intertwined than was previously known, according to a new study in The Milbank Quarterly. Based on previously secret tobacco industry documents, the study reveals that, since at least the 1970s, tobacco companies have been interested in marijuana as both a rival and potential product.

    As a result of litigation against the tobacco industry, more than 80 million pages of internal company documents became available at the University of California San Francisco’s Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (www.legacy.library.ucsf.edu). This study, led by Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, is the first to systematically review these documents specifically about marijuana.

    The authors write that “despite fervent denials, three multinational tobacco companies”—Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, and RJ Reynolds—have all “considered manufacturing cigarettes containing cannabis. "People have suspected for a long time that Big Tobacco was interested in marijuana,” says Glantz. “The documents we review show that they have been considering legalized marijuana as both a competitor and an opportunity.”

    One of the goals of the study, say the authors, is to make policymakers and public health advocates aware that tobacco companies are prepared to enter the marijuana market with the intention of increasing its widespread use. As states like Colorado and Washington legalize the recreational use of marijuana (and many others are considering it), the authors make a compelling case for policymakers to adopt regulatory frameworks similar to existing tobacco laws in order to prevent youth initiation and tame market domination by companies seeking to maximize profits with the sales of another addictive substance.

    What the documents reveal

    Despite public statements denying involvement in marijuana research, tobacco companies closely monitored the marijuana debate over the last 40 years. Since the 1970s, several companies have been researching product development and forecasting the legalization of marijuana, which they considered both a threat to current products and an opportunity to develop new products that contained marijuana. Since some of the files were privileged and confidential, it is still not known whether the tobacco industry was a proponent of marijuana legislation.

    Here are some highlights from the study:

    - As early as 1969, documents show that Philip Morris was interested in researching marijuana. A 65-page literature survey on marijuana was conducted, listing chemical, biological, and pharmacological information about marijuana “because legalization of marijuana had ‘possible’ implications for smokers,” write the authors. Philip Morris was also interested in analyzing smoke from Cannabis sativa in a similar way that they analyzed tobacco smoke, including toxicity, inhalation and carcinogenesis studies. They contacted the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and offered to do the analysis, as a help to the DOJ—but an unsigned memo to top management at Philip Morris made it look as though the DOJ was asking PM to do the work and not the other way around.

    - British American Tobacco had a strictly confidential “pot” project. Researchers there believed that nicotine and marijuana were not direct competitors because of the way each acted on the brain, but that if marijuana became legalized, a blended product could be developed.

    - There was special interest in menthol cigarettes, particularly in Brown & Williamson’s Kool brand. Focus groups revealed that mentholated cigarettes were often smoked after marijuana since they relieved the dryness of marijuana and could “sustain the high.” From the 1970s to late 1990s, tobacco companies strategically marketed menthol cigarettes to the youth and African American markets.

    Implications for health policy

    For an “on the ground” view of the realities of these new policy dilemmas, the study is accompanied by a commentary by Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper in which he acknowledges that, as one of the first states to legalize marijuana, “Colorado is a testing ground for this experiment in marijuana legalization….” In determining regulations, Colorado has turned to examples from the alcohol, gaming and tobacco industries when it comes to underage use and the impact on public health. He believes the state is “asking the right questions” and “attempting to collect the right data,” while focusing on the well-being of Coloradans.

    “As marijuana is decriminalized, policymakers need to guard against Big Tobacco or other powerful corporate interests from bringing modern branding, marketing and product engineering to bear on marijuana,” says Rachel Barry, MA, one of the study authors. The third author is Heikki Hiilamo, PhD, Professor of Social Policy at the University of Helsinki.

    Some of the same regulations that have been applied to tobacco could be applied to marijuana, say the researchers. These include restrictions on advertising; taxation; prohibiting free samples, flavored products and products that also contain nicotine; no brand-name sponsorship of events; and warning labels on packaging as well as no sales in vending machines, no point-of-sale advertising and Internet sales. Smoking marijuana should not be allowed anywhere where smoking conventional cigarettes is not allowed.

    June 3, 2014



  1. Joe-(5-HTP)
    Re: Big Tobacco Planned on Big Pot Sales in the 70s, Were Just Waiting for Legalizati

    Just another example showing that the 'anti-marijuana' stance is a case of the emperor having no clothes.
  2. Großschmackhaft
    Re: Big Tobacco Planned on Big Pot Sales in the 70s, Were Just Waiting for Legalizati

    I don't get the analogy, please explain.
  3. Joe-(5-HTP)
    Re: Big Tobacco Planned on Big Pot Sales in the 70s, Were Just Waiting for Legalizati

    I mean that it's clear that the tobacco industries don't care about whether cannabis is good or bad, they are just interested in profit.

    Everyone knows cannabis isn't bad - certainly not nearly as bad as the government propaganda attempts to suggest.

    Yet the Schedule 1 facade continues.. the emperor has no clothes. The emperor having no clothes is a reference to society's ability to delude themselves in regard to authority. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes

    It's on the same level as climate change deniers or faith healers. It's actually 100x worse than those who deny that NASA went to the moon. Except that this is actual government officials backing the anti-cannabis nonsense. The situation we are in is that the reality of cannabis's safety is becoming ever more and more obvious, yet the schedule 1 facade continues despite it.

    It's just a matter of reaching a breaking point.
  4. Großschmackhaft
    Re: Big Tobacco Planned on Big Pot Sales in the 70s, Were Just Waiting for Legalizati

    What does the tobacco industry have to do with the prohibitionistic policies our governments have imposed? Have the tobacco companies ever claimed to be interested in anything but profit? Have they furthered the prohibition in any significant way (more than other big companies)?

    If you are accusing them of hypocrisy , i just don't see it. They are for-profit organizations, not moral institutions (such as governments). They operate in pragmatic ways and i argue that if our legislative institutions (and the general society) did so as well, the prohibition would never have been come to pass.
  5. Joe-(5-HTP)
    Re: Big Tobacco Planned on Big Pot Sales in the 70s, Were Just Waiting for Legalizati

    Yes of course they 'claim' to be interested in something other than profit.

    Just like politicians 'claim' to be interested in something other than political profit.

    Both are of course interested in profit, but each seek to present the public a carefully crafted more positive image.

    Tobacco companies currently attempt to squash the cannabis industry before it can take hold and become a rival. They do this by backing the standard government propaganda. Yet if they could profit off cannabis, they would at least consider it, as this shows. They also claim to believe in the free market, yet keep potential rival products away through lobbying for their illegality. There is hypocrasy there somewhere.

    Hypocrasy is the least of the charges we can level against them though.

    I'm not so much accusing them of anything as pointing out that they are just as ridiculous and economical with the truth as politicians are.
  6. TheBigBadWolf
    Re: Big Tobacco Planned on Big Pot Sales in the 70s, Were Just Waiting for Legalizati

    The funny thing with Emperor's new clothes is that nobody wants to be the dumb ones who can't see them.
    So of course they hold upright their scheduling - pretending they 'see' what in truth are only oldfashioned stances that lack any scientifical proof, worse so cause they know they only pretend.

    But thats the way of modernist neo-liberalists. best friends to big money who fund their comfortable lives.
    People are only good for spending their hard earned money for unnecessary products and taxes that on some indescribable ways also find their way into the pockets of manufacturers of big electronics, big pharm, big food and big insurances that get fatter and fatter and invest their profit into speculative business on food and primary resources.

    It's the game capitalism they are playing, all over the world.

    as long as pot smokers over the globe don't get their arses off their sofas and show how many they are, provoking the powers that be to act on open air smoke ins with arrests of thousands and so producing a DoS in the law enforcement system -there will be no change.

    just my view on this 'bigsomething' talk.

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