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Pants On Fire – Stephen Harper Is Wrong About Marijuana Being ‘Infinitely Worse’ Than Tobacco

stephen harper canada marijuana

(image via wikipedia)

Canadian Conservative Party candidate Stephen Harper made headlines this last weekend when he stated that marijuana was worse than tobacco. And not just a little bit worse. Mr. Harper stated that marijuana is ‘infinitely worse’ than tobacco. Below are his comments, via Canada.Com:

It’s a path Conservative Leader Stephen Harper vehemently opposes, using it to drive a wedge between him and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who wants to legalize marijuana. After Harper clashed with Trudeau over the issue last week, the prime minister was asked Saturday why he was so opposed.

“There’s just overwhelming and growing scientific and medical evidence about the bad, long-term effects of marijuana. We’ve spent a couple of generations trying to reduce the usage of tobacco in Canada with a lot of success,” Harper said.

“Tobacco is a product that does a lot of damage. Marijuana is infinitely worse and it’s something that we do not want to encourage.”

That’s a pretty bold claim by Mr. Harper. He can throw around reefer madness rhetoric all that he wants to, but this isn’t the 1930’s. What does the science say? Unfortunately for Mr. Harper, and fortunately for logical reasoning, he couldn’t be more wrong. There are a lot of studies that have found that marijuana is actually quite a bit safer than tobacco. The most recent one that I know of was published just this last summer. The study was conducted at UCLA, and found the following, per LA Weekly:

But, he says, “Through my studies, we failed to find any positive association.” Instead, “the association would be negative, between lung cancer and the use of marijuana. The likelihood is, that despite the fact that marijuana smoke contains carcinogens, we don’t see the same heightened risks of cancers that we see in tobacco.”

Tashkin also discusses the fact that smoking marijuana, unlike smoking tobacco, does not cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). “Reasoning for this may be that marijuana is a potent anti-inflammatory and suppressive,” he says. But “COPD is activated by tobacco smoke and other toxic substances.”

“The other major impact of tobacco smoking on the lungs is the association between smoking tobacco and the development of destructive pulmonary disease, the third cause of death in America,” Tashkin adds.

There was also another study earlier this year, which sought to quantify just how much safer marijuana was than tobacco, and other substances. That study found that the exact opposite was true of what Stephen Harper stated – marijuana is actually exponentially safer than tobacco. Below is a graph of the study’s findings, per the Washington Post:

marijuana tobacco alcohol


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Johnny Green


  1. saynotohypocrisy on

    Harper united his side. People to his left are divided among the Liberals, New Democrats, Greens and Quebec nationalists, in winner take all electoral districts like the US Congress

  2. saynotohypocrisy on

    Harper doesn’t need 50% of the vote. With 3 serious candidates, he may well win reelection w/ 35% of the vote or less. Liberals and New Democrats voters need to cooperate and vote for the stronger of their two candidates in each electoral district.

  3. I am very glad to see you still alive and kicking. So am I, here in New Mexico we have it a bit better than a lot of states, and certainly better than where I used to be, and one of the reasons I moved out here.

    “Conservatives” like Canada’s Harper still keep getting elected. Even as some of these dinosaurs die off, we still have to contend with these idiots who just lie and no one ever really calls them on it.

    It is too bad real conservatives are no longer in existence. They used to like fact based science but something happened in the US after Newt Gingrich came along with the other crazy wingnuts. Even as most of them get embroiled in various hypocritical scandals, it’s not enough.

    No one should ever vote for any “conservative” until actual conservatives make their way back. People like Lyn Nofsinger and William F. Buckley. But sadly, the real conservatives are all dead and have been replaced by racist ignorant social misfits.

  4. Ya, this is not the only issue the Tories B.S. on. Not sure why they so deny other than past crimes ( entering a unit with no warrant … ) I’m an old broad from Sask. that has been arrested more than 3 x illegally and then I paid council who also screwed me over.
    Vote how you wish, please go to polls and VOTE !!! It is time for change on marajuana laws in Canada.
    Peace be with you Right Honorable Pierre Elliot Truedeu !

  5. Christie’s an ASSHOLE! Wait til he’s gotta go to Colorado to campaign! He doesn’t win without carrying Colorado. Think he carries it? Me either! ?

  6. Agreed!

    Who in their right mind would say ANYTHING negative about cannabis when OVER 50%(remember, you need over 50% to win an election!) of the world population agrees with the science!

    Similar to the Idochristie move in the last Pres. debate, shot himself in the foot with that one, his were the only poll numbers to drop after the debate! Dumbass.

  7. What I can’t understand is how a normally empathetic country like Canada keep allowing this sociopath to run the country. What gives Canada?

  8. I think it’s great when these folks express their true ignorance and identify themselves as idiots that shouldn’t be re-elected. Come on Prohibitionist, keep identifying yourselves….. We are watching and we are remembering.

  9. I’m a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer Research.

    Like a lot of people my age — I’ve seen WAY too many people die of Cancer.

    No matter what your reason is for working for the legalization of Marijuana,– WORK HARDER.


    Medical Marijuana is a “Wonder Drug” for Cancer patients undergoing Chemotherapy.

    Every American with Cancer deserves the right to have safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana.

    Every. Single. One.

    If you’re an American man, you’ve got a 1 out of 2 chance of getting Cancer and 1 out of 2 chance of dying from it.
    If you’re an American woman, you’ve got a 1 out of 3 chance of getting Cancer, and a 1 out of 2 chance of dying from it.

    Cancer isn’t just an incredibly painful way to die — the pain is beyond human description — there’s nothing else like it — Cancer is incredibly commonplace.

    If you’e working for the legalization of Marijuana — WORK HARDER

    The life you save, or at the pain and suffering you help reduce will either be your own, or that someone you love — and seeing a loved one die of Cancer is heartbreaking.



    If you’re young enough that you still can choose what to devote your life to — devote it to Cancer research.

    We need all the help we can get.

  10. The insanity of our Conservative government had the “Health Minister” spending millions of tax dollars in court trying to force cancer patients to smoke their medicine instead of having access to edibles and extracts. I’ve lived in Canada all my life, and I’ve come to realize that Canada is the bizarro world of the U.S.. You guys need to elect a Republican, I’m sorry to say. It’s the only way we’ll have a Liberal government again, and things can go back to normal here.

  11. Good to know that American politicians aren’t the only ones willing to just boldly claim lies like “Cannabis is more hazardous than tobacco.”.

  12. “That’s the nice thing about ‘smart’ information now, the folks watching him as he is spewing this garbage can look up on their ‘smart’ devices and BAM, just like that the bullshit is countered even BEFORE the idiot stops speaking”

    Agreed and this works for some, but there are also a lot of people out there whose minds are made up, and no matter how much evidence you show them, they still can’t fathom that the wool has been pulled over their eyes.

  13. No mention of the study that followed Canadian medical marijuana patients for a year who used 2.5g/day and found it to be perfectly safe with only the mild side effects that we know it has.

  14. This man is dangerous to freedom. Lucky for the generation coming up, we no longer stand down to this crap. Though, worried about my gun rights and Cannabis rights. Sick of selective rights. We have absolute rights, or no rights.

  15. That’s the nice thing about ‘smart’ information now, the folks watching him as he is spewing this garbage can look up on their ‘smart’ devices and BAM, just like that the bullshit is countered even BEFORE the idiot stops speaking

    In the old days a politician could spew lies knowing that the public had little way of disproving the lies.
    Most folks would just believe what the politicians said.

    Now we can disprove the lie with a fingertip and 30 seconds

    It’s getting harder for politicians to blow smoke up our asses than ever before!

    Haters hate out of emotion and refuse to accept new truths and education

    We will no longer tolerate the permanently uneducated. Our votes will show this.

    The truth is at our fingertip

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