New research suggests that nicotine creates cellular drills, targeting and perforating smooth muscles over a period of six hours.

Contrary to popular belief, that carbon dioxide level exposure had to be extreme in order to deposit enough tar to permanently damage the lungs, it is now becoming clear that the cause of lung cancer and other smoking related problems is in fact nicotine. It was an old wives’ tale or counterargument from smokers that because people living in big cities inhaled half of a pack to a pack of cigarette in smoke from smog each day, but did not have high lung cancer rates like second hand smokers, there must be something wrong with the tobacco studies that were done. Living in a city with hundreds of thousands of cars cars was equivalent to “two packs of cigarettes a day” while any smoker will have a 24-35 in 100 chance of lung cancer (500-1000 times higher than simply being a city dweller). In Bejing today, this rate is 42 in 100,000. People who use candles or incense frequently only have 7 or 8, slightly more than regular marijuana smokers. This perhaps indicated that in fact smoking cessation products cause lung cancer; that it is not smoke, but nicotine that causes the lung cancer has only been proved this last year. Possible explanations at the time included contaminants to tobacco or asbestos, hence natural brands such as American Spirit advertised as such to me as a teenager.
However, in 2013, a new paper delivered at the American Society for Cell Biology managed to watch the molecules of nicotine fold into drills after being present in the blood stream for a continuous six hours. These target smooth muscles, such as those found in the heart, epidermis, lungs, and reproductive system as well as throughout the body. This helps to explain why a secondhand smoker in a house with a heavy smoker has a greater chance of lung cancer than a light smoker. It is conceivable that users of e-cigs or nicotine substitution products such as the patch or gum living in a big city could give themselves lung cancer as well by pollutant exposure as the body becomes unable to naturally clean itself.
Much credit is deserved for Brown professor Ching-Ming Hai, who discovered these cellular drills called podosome rosettes. By establishing the link between heart disease such as atherosclerosis and nicotine, the way has been opened to investigate the role of nicotine on other organs such as the lungs. Being able to observe this phenomenon suggests a veritable hypothesis that other smooth muscles in the body will and do respond in a similar way, eventually tearing and folding under continued nicotine exposure.
Some research has existed which supports this hypothesis that lung cancer is caused by nicotine, including studies which suggest that lung cancer is sped up by nicotine exposure (Dasgupta). For the first time, it can be assuredly said that in fact the cause is in nicotine. This supports the population data. In all of Mexico, for example the lung cancer rate is 5 in 100,000 (Lazcano). Introducing smoke increases this eight times, to as much as and over 40 in 100,000 with smog and air pollution (Wang). With nicotine exposure, this jumps to the 30,000 in 100,000 or thirty percent that indicates lung cancer is caused by tobacco.
This is affirmed by research using populations in Sweden and in California in which smokers of marijuana were not found to have increased cancer rates, or only slight and suggested links to cancer. Research along these lines were released in the 1990s and 2000s, though did not have at this time any scientific rationale for the phenomenon, which can now be attributed to nicotine. Continuing research along these lines should provide alternatives and safe products, once again, to combat use of sweets and bubblegum which were originally the targets of tobacco advertising.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2001-07-05/news/0107050231_1_smog-alert-mexico-city-greenhouse-gases
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9428585
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1796573/
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-28/rates-of-lung-cancer-rising-steeply-in-smoggy-beijing
http://lungcancer.about.com/od/Lung-Cancer-And-Smoking/f/Smokers-Lung-Cancer.htm
http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/16/health/nicotine-e-cigarettes/
http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20060720/nicotine-speeds-lung-cancer
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10552-013-0259-0
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1018427320658

Bibliography:

Dasgupta, Piyali, et al. “Nicotine induces cell proliferation by β-arrestin–mediated activation of Src and Rb–Raf-1 pathways.” The Journal of clinical investigation 116.8 (2006): 2208-2217.

Lazcano, Ponce EC, et al. “Trends of lung cancer mortality in Mexico.”Archives of medical research 28.4 (1996): 565-570.

Wang, Q. “[An analysis of incidence mortality and survival rates of lung cancer in Beijing].” Zhonghua liu xing bing xue za zhi= Zhonghua liuxingbingxue zazhi12.4 (1991): 205-207.


Addendum: It should be noted that this does not indicate that nicotine or tobacco is responsible for cancer. Since the US cracked down on tobacco use, with success in white males, the overall cancer mortality rate has increased from 184 per 100,000 in 1950-69 to 209 per 100,000 from 1970-1994. Today that rate holds steady at 203 per 100,000. In white females and in other demographics cancer rates have been steady or changed in negligible amounts, but these demographics have had increasing tobacco use rates. Cancer is a painful and unnatural death that can often involve long battles with the disease and should be combated with all resources available, in treatment and in prevention. While lung cancer rates have fallen, technological advances have allowed earlier detection of lung cancer, which at stage 0 and 1 is among the least deadly forms of cancer, but at later stages is among the most deadly. Without adjustments for technological advances in medical care, no positive statement can be made in regards to success or negative results from anti-smoking campaigns. Meta-data from overall cancer mortality does show that the resources in the war on cancer have been squandered and had an overall detrimental effect on the national health of the country, and some policy change is necessitated, although it must be noted there is no current biological explanation for the lower cancer rates in countries and places with higher tobacco use, these have been correlative not causal links.

Dr. Ray Mills Antley, Sr. – Interview, Christmas 2010

Rest in peace, Ray

Marijuana is legal under the 1938 amendments to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, we do need to regulate it.

Marijuana is legal under the 1938 amendments to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which remains the standard for prescription and non-prescription drugs (making in the case of marijuana, the controlled substances act out of line and unconstitutional and infringement of the duties and obligations of the FDA)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pure_Food_and_Drug_Act

“Goods found in violation of the law were subject to seizure and destruction at the expense of the manufacturer. That, combined with a legal requirement that all convictions be published (Notices of Judgment), proved to be important tools in the enforcement of the statute and had a deterrent effect upon would-be violators. “

http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm214416.htm
The enactment of the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act tightened controls over drugs and food, included new consumer protection against unlawful cosmetics and medical devices, and enhanced the government’s ability to enforce the law. This law, as amended, is still in force today.
And of course, as we all know, the FDA has not made marijuana an FDA approved prescription in any state, mostly because it is available as a “dangerous” but legal drug, in the same wording as surrounds the alcohol industry.
We need better regulation  of these substances. The prohibition is ineffective and morally unjustifiable. 
http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/item/18383-house-votes-to-stop-feds-from-interfering-with-state-marijuana-laws
The house has already voted to end Department of Justice funding for marijuana prosecution.

The effect of potent unregulated or decriminalized marijuana and alcohol versus legalized and properly regulated marijuana and alcohol (with proper FDA regulations full brain blood-flow should be possible regardless of which substance is consumed, though it would appear to be quite low, .5% in the case of alcohol, over half a dozen strains of marijuana are already identified that are purported to be safe some that may even contain moderate amounts of THC):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjZgj_eH4x0

In addition, while the Controlled Substances Act of 1976 (the version in 1970 was still diagnostic in effect) gave federal agencies jurisdiction to act in the case of many drugs, including marijuana, this was in spite of a decriminalization law passed in 1973, still legally and enforced in the state of North Carolina. It was not out of error that the legislation in North Carolina passed this bill, they simply were regulating a dangerous industry concluding indemnifying research that showed alcohol and tobacco to be far worse than cannabis, legally according to the FDA regulations on the product and in keeping with importation laws from nations where it was legal to possess or produce (at the time 1/2 ounce in North Carolina, the substance was legal in many parts of the world notably the Netherlands and Morocco, where multiple brutal civil wars have been fought over the legalization of the product and the monarchy’s succession). Under the same legal logic that made the emancipation proclamation necessary before the constitution was amended to or acts passed to outlaw slavery, it is a de facto violation of states’ rights to pass the Controlled Substances Act, at least as it applies to marijuana. These sorts of mistakes are not unheard of, and happen frequently in the budget, as federal and state governments overlap. The only legal option is to encourage or federally mandate amendment of state laws before changing federal law in this matter. In this case, it is clear that the federal government already has a department, the FDA, responsible for this product and stifling research into this promising if dangerous drug is paramount to extortion, incarceration under false pretenses, embezzlement, and treason on a massive scale. Denying this reality and failing to prosecute organizations responsible for the suppression of research and development of this industry as such, would so fundamentally change the mechanisms of this country that entire peoples could be thrown into chains, dispossessed, or in other ways robbed of their fundamental liberties that the government exists to protect under the veil of enhancing freedom and pursuing happiness.

As for constitutionality:
The embattled Fourth Amendment[117]is probably the leading exam­ple of a “War on Drugs” casualty.[118] As has been erstwhile noted in an apropos reference to George Orwell’s, 1984, a date that we have passed in more than one sense, the “War on Drugs” has led to “[a] gradual but perceptive rise in Big Brotherism against the public at large in the form of eavesdropping, surveillance, monitor­ing, informing, and other intrusive enforcement methods.”[119] Among the inroads that have been sanctioned are those that have permitted intrusions into our homes by the use of aerial surveil­lance,[120] a practice that has led to the practical abandonment in other drug-related contexts of the privacy test announced in Katz v. United States.[121] These relaxations of the restrictions of the Fourth Amendment have allowed the expansion of police authority to carry out warrantless searches for drugs on individuals and automo­biles under circumstances beyond the original intention of Terry’s rationale,[122] which was based on police officer safety, not as a subterfuge, for a search for criminal evidence without meeting the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. The creation of the so-called “good faith” exception to the Fourth Amendment require­ment of probable cause established in United States v. León,[123] which in practice we see stretched beyond “good faith,” is another example of the courts’ permissive attitude towards the government in drug cases. Equally troubling is the upholding of the validity of a warrant issued on the basis of a partially uncorroborated anony­mous tip,[124] leading to cases in which it was allowed to corroborate the anonymous tip by the post facto discovery of illegal evi­dence.[125]”

http://academiajurisprudenciapr.org/new/rethink-the-war-of-drugs/deja-vu-a-federal-judge-revisits-the-war-on-drugs/

PLEASE NOTE: Marijuana was re-legalized in the spending bill of 2014. This was seen as a national security issue and does activate the superiority clause in the Constitution, regardless of state laws. Marijuana is currently legally available for sale and manufacture across the USA on Native American reservations. It is highly probable that state or federal governments will take more responsible steps in the future towards regulating this substance. Also in September leading anti-marijuana academics were caught accepting money from corporate interests, which has changed the field of research in this field significantly.

In regards to state laws and international treaties: Does legal marijuana violate international treaties? The answer is no.
“Even if treaties could override federalism, the agreements that the INCB cites do not purport to do so. The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs says compliance is subject to “constitutional limitations” and undertaken with “due regard to [signatories’] constitutional, legal and administrative systems.” The 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances contain similar provisions.”
Representing these treaties in this manner as the INCB has done is criminal, it makes light of legitimate and extremely important resolutions and work the UN has done and made. Now that we can prove that marijuana provides a benefit to public health, we have the right to use and provide it.

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