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The power of cigaette companies extends beyond the US

Posted by blueberry on December 6, 2001 at 10:48:29:

In my home country, before now people used to grow marijuana for medicinal properties as well as just to smoke it as a part of their religion –Rastafarianism. Then, there was no set rule as to whether marijuana was illegal or not. However, in recent times, the government has been influenced to declare a law, which states that marijuana is illegal. This influence was as a result of the U.S government, giving our government an incentive- (money!) for every acre of marijuana plants that was uprooted (by the police!). Now to think of it, I have come to the conclusion that the US government was probably influenced by cigarette companies to provide such an incentive so that people would be forced to buy cigarettes and smoke those instead of smoking marijuana. However, there is currently a debate because people want the government to legalize marijuana not only for medicinal purposes but also the fact that an increase in smoking cigarettes has occurred and they realize that smoking marijuana is mush less damaging to ones system than smoking cigarettes. My point is that I think that capitalists have way too much power! My question then is although the aim of companies is to maximize profits and in the short term they accomplish that, in the long run, do we as people or they as companies benefit from short term profit maximization while at the same time effectively killing people?

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