Cigars & cannabis

For the life of me, why aren’t cigarettes a Schedule 1 drug? I was just reading in the Trib about how the White House is banning candy- and fruit-flavored e-cigarettes but allowing for tobacco- and menthol-flavored cartridges to be sold. Why don’t they ban tobacco-flavored cartridges as well? Are they wanting to keep the tobacco flavors so there won’t be too much of a difference from them and regular cigarettes?

Three reasons exist for something to be classified a Schedule 1 drug. First: The substance is highly addictive. Second: The substance in question has no medicinal value. Third: The substance is bad for your health beyond all doubt.

So with some 400,000 people dying a year from tobacco-related illnesses, why aren’t cigarettes a Schedule 1 drug when it matches all of the above criteria — and especially when cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug and it has been proven it isn’t any more physically addictive than your normal routine cup of coffee and has also been proven to have many benefits to people with certain health issues and is being prescribed by doctors even now?

There are also studies that say cannabis can even help with quitting cigarettes as well as weaning people off opiate addictions.

So why?

I suspect the tobacco companies and lobbyists with their jovial backslapping and big cigars have many of the old-school politicians in their pockets. Which is all the more reason to vote out politicians over age 70 (and I say this as a man close to that age). Let’s bring in fresh new minds who have a real grasp of what’s likely happening in coming decades with both our health-care needs and the global-warming trends looming over our heads.

Stephen Davies, Waco

Credit where due

After reading the Jan. 5 Trib article about the Family Health Center winning an award for integrating behavioral health care into doctor visits, I felt a need to remind people that more than 30 years ago, Dr. Harold “Hap” LeCrone, a Waco psychologist who also was a weekly contributor to the Waco Tribune-Herald with his popular column “Psychology and You,” was instrumental in developing the original program of training for Family Practice residents about the impact of psychologically based issues on a person’s physical health. Ample praise is deserved for Drs. Griggs, Reynolds and Kelley in currently translating an effective program of care into a beneficial tool for both medical providers and their respective patients.

Alex Howe, Ph.D., Waco

Signed, sealed

Loyalty in business does not seem to exist anymore. Take as an example Matt Rhule who jumped ship this week from coaching Baylor football to coaching the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, despite the fact his contract with Baylor ran till 2027. It’s all about the money, folks, and to hell with Baylor and the people of Central Texas.

John Baker, Hewitt

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