Cannabis is now legal for adult recreational use in Colorado, Washington state, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, DC. Like addiction, recovery is tightly bound by time and culture: If history had played out differently, with cannabis remaining legal and tobacco illegal (something that would almost certainly have saved millions of lives), cannabis might be seen as an acceptable part of recovery, while tobacco would clearly be a relapse. The same holds true for caffeine. High-dose caffeine, as anyone who has gotten jittery, talkative and paranoid from it can attest, is a serious stimulant and the fact that we don’t see it as a drug relates more to history than to science. Similarly, although cannabis can cause immediate impairment while tobacco does not, the serious long-term effects of tobacco use make it a good candidate for being named the single most powerfully addictive drug known.
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