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Old 11-30-2013, 08:34 PM
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,464 posts, read 19,996,430 times
Reputation: 22367


Am reading a head-twisting book: Tobacco/A Cultural History Of How An Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization by Iain Gately.

When Benjamin Franklin went to Paris to seek a loan to help with out independence from the tobacco-addicted British, the tobacco-addicted French accepted a 5 million pound guarantee of Tobacco as collateral.

Most of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence were involved in the lucrative tobacco trade, including Jefferson & Washington.

So now I get the picture!

Yup! What goes around, comes around!

And how dare we criticize other countries with trying to flood this country with cocaine, marijuana, heroin! The earliest flood was tobacco, which originated in Ecuador/Peru and made it way north to Central America, Mexico and then to every corner of North America.
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:18 PM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,362 posts, read 6,783,711 times
Reputation: 14412
I think we all agree that tobacco has addictive properties; I've worked in fairly stressful jobs where several other men admitted they could not have handled things without access to the calmative properties of nicotine.

Our understanding of the distinction between medication and substance dependency/abuse will continue to grow; but lumping tobacco with cocaine and heroin is a bit of a stretch.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:08 AM
Location: Toronto
287 posts, read 881,421 times
Reputation: 276
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
...but lumping tobacco with cocaine and heroin is a bit of a stretch.
I'll go further.....It's ludicrous, farcical and cockamamie.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:50 AM
3,445 posts, read 4,825,308 times
Reputation: 6073
The OP sounds like one of those rabid anti-smokers. Strange how he/she left off the worst drug of all...alcohol.

Thats probably because the OP may imbibe that drug occasionally
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:45 AM
Location: Pennsylvania
5,409 posts, read 9,556,810 times
Reputation: 8577
I'm not sure all the medical issues regarding tobacco were known in the 17th century when the trade started. It also isn't illegal even today like heroin and cocaine, so it does seem a stretch to make this comparison.
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:43 AM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
36,951 posts, read 17,425,944 times
Reputation: 16787
To say that the US was built on drug dealing is to ignore all other factors, positive and negative. The US was built on ship building....and on slave trading. The US was built on harvesting lumber...and on displacing or exterminating the native tribes. And it was US distilled rum which helped keep the tars of the Royal Navy happy and inebriated. (Staten Island got its start as the first center of rum production.)

In terms of morality, growing and selling tobacco, which at the time was not understood to be so harmful, should rank way behind the slave trade and the treatment of the natives. You might want to give redirecting your outrage some consideration.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:06 PM
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 13,576,329 times
Reputation: 7921
The US was indeed built upon the tobacco trade. It started with John Rolfe, who bred tobacco in an effort to avoid prosecution for idleness under Dale's code.
Dale's Code - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

King James of KJV Bible fame, tried to put a stop to it but failed.
A Counterblaste to Tobacco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Our founding fathers Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, still all in the top 10 richest presidents, all made their fortunes from tobacco farming.
What president jefferson, madison, franklin and washington was not a tabacco farmer? - Yahoo Answers
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:57 PM
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,837 posts, read 57,830,396 times
Reputation: 29225
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
Isn't Tobacco a Drug Akin To Heroin?
Nope it isn't. Not even close to that.

Tobacco is a natural state agricultural product.
As such it and similar such things should be legal by default*. They mostly are.
Marijuana used to be and will be again before long.

Heroin otoh... is a synthesized pharmaceutical product. Cocaine is as well.
These should be re-medicalized and put back under the control of doctors and pharmacists.
(btw... the poppy and coca they stem from are legal)

* If you're inclined to ban cigarettes... I'd support that.
But not the raw tobacco they're made from.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:01 PM
5,106 posts, read 6,060,240 times
Reputation: 9677
the US and other colonial territories were built upon exploitation of resources. tabacco was no different than anything else.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:16 PM
Status: "happy again, no longer catless! t...." (set 4 days ago)
Location: Cushing OK
14,421 posts, read 16,677,475 times
Reputation: 16420
One reason the eastern seaboard became a prime tabacco growing area was the soil is poor and other crops usually failed. The men who were trying to establish themselves as a colonial elite needed a trade good which earned enough to add some bling to their appearance. Tabacco proved to be the lucrative crop which would grow where others wouldn't.

Maryland's gentrifed land holders owed their position to tabacco, and so did the indentrued servants and convicts who worked their fields before in the late 1600's, blacks became a more dominant work force. The crop requires a lot of labor and they looked for the cheapest source. Over time that changed, but the a whole economy grew from it which kept up the demand for cheap and often disposable labor.

And like many things, tabacco wasn't considered an evil drug then, just a comodity which sold like any crop. Rum was only one kind of alchol which florished, but alchol has been made and consumed and used for 'medicinal' purposes for a milenia. We shouldn't place our recent values on the practices of the past. If it hadn't been tabacco it would have been another crop which needed cheap labor and tolerated poor soil. Nothing would have been different for the time.

Whatever grew and made money would have been grown and money made and labor used.
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