Is banning menthol cigarettes just a big bait-and-switch for legalizing pot?

The United States Congress is debating on whether to completely ban the sales of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. One Senator argues that this is all just a pretext for cannabis legalization.

Tobacco is clearly on its way out of “first world” countries, as many assessments and market analysis have shown so far. In short, cigarettes are slowly but surely becoming less and less desirable.

The US Congress is now debating whether menthol cigarettes are even more detrimental than regular ones, and the FDA plans to prohibit the sales of menthol-flavored cigarettes for good.

However, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is fighting tooth and nail not to let this happen, which comes as no surprise. After all, North Carolina is the largest producer of tobacco in the US.

Eerily similar to Canada

Canada imposed a nationwide ban on menthol cigarettes that took effect in October 2017. At that point, Canada already had a federal medical marijuana program.

Not only that but, in 2017, most of Canada already knew recreational marijuana was about to get legalized.

Two years ago, the private sector was going wild with fundraising and trying to get set up in time for legalization. It’s not like Canada legalized marijuana out of nowhere.

“This is eerily similar to Canada a few years ago when they banned menthol products,” Burr said. “How did they follow that up? This year, they legalized cannabis. Maybe that is the route we are on.”

America would be lucky to be on the same route as Canada, and that goes for just about any social and economic matter.

Senator Burr noted that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s actions to date do “raise suspicion”, even though they might not necessarily accuse the administration of heading in that direction.

He also pointed out that the FDA is in the process of reviewing products that were derived from cannabis such as oils and capsules for oral use.

“Well, Mr. Commissioner, you are only fueling my fears that you are following the roadmap Canada followed—that this is all a bait-and-switch situation.”

The FDA proposed the anti-menthol measure as a way of reducing the total number of smokers, and also to encourage the general trend of reducing tobacco consumption.

Senator Burr went on to explain how marijuana is way under-regulated, as the federal government hasn’t provided any instructions to the 33 states that legalized medical marijuana.

He also warned the FDA not to think that this issue is going to slide by and followed it up with a threat along the lines of “we won’t let the states do what they want to do anymore”, only slightly more politically correct.

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