By Jason Gastrich / Copy Editor

While medical cannabis patients at LBCC have no place to medicate, cigarette smokers come together and enjoy designated areas on both campuses. Since smoking cigarettes is a choice and a luxury, it doesn’t seem fair to suffering patients who need to take their medicine.
According to the Center for Disease Control’s website, cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths a year in the U.S.. The website also states that tobacco causes 5 million deaths worldwide and it’s estimated to cause 8 million deaths yearly by 2030. On average, smokers die 10 years sooner than non-smokers, the website says. Mouth cancer, throat cancer, pharynx cancer and lung cancer are some deadly side effects of smoking cigarettes. It also makes your hair smell and your mouth taste like an ashtray.
Smokers who roll their own tobacco cigarettes avoid ingesting the chemical compounds in machine-rolled cigarettes. However, they still contain tar and cause cancer. Without a filter, the hand-rolled tobacco smoker could develop health problems just as fast.
CVS recently told its 7,700 U.S. stores to stop selling tobacco products. Since they’re also a pharmacy, it makes sense. Let’s hope their competitors follow their example. CVS estimates the policy will cost them billions of dollars in yearly sales revenue, but they care about health more than money. Unfortunately, tobacco products cost smokers a lot of money. Not just for cigarettes, but also in higher insurance premiums, pharmaceutical drugs and medical procedures.
If pot is vaporized or ingested as a capsule, health problems can be reduced or eliminated. It’s known for treating glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasticity, PTSD, anxiety and many other ailments. Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and recreational marijuana is legal in Washington and Colorado. In November, Alaska and Oregon will vote on legalizing recreational marijuana.
If you use cannabis on campus, you will be reprimanded, thrown out of school and arrested. This needs to change now. California legalized medical marijuana in 1994, so it’s startling how two decades later there isn’t protection for medical marijuana patients.
Many of them suffer from discomfort to debilitating diseases, so the present situation isn’t compassionate or thoughtful. In fact, it puts big businesses over suffering people and hastens the suffering of otherwise healthy people. It might be ironic, but it’s definitely not fair or right.