What makes some stimulants legal? Why do drugs with fewer negative effects and addictive qualities find themselves as Schedule 1 controlled substances, while things like alcohol are completely legal.
Tobacco derived nicotine, a fully legal parasympathomimetic absolutely no health benefits continues to be the leading preventable cause of death in the whole world. This highly addictive drug is accessible to to every single adult in America at nearly any convenience store in the nation.
Stimulants like Vyvanse, Adderall, Dexedrene, and Ritalin have few to no serious health detriments, and have been proven to be beneficial in losing weight, while keeping it off, enhancing focus, helping drive, and treating chronic fatigue, yet they remain schedule I and II controlled substances. While I'm not pushing for recreational legalization for them, I'm stating that the laws surrounding stimulants are nonsensical.
Societal Influence and aesthetics
Ritalin comes in a pill form. It can be swallowed, crushed, then snorted, or taken rectally. I don't claim to be a guru of the intricacies and machinations of society, but I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say that smoking a cigarette looks a world cooler than crushing a pill into water, and pouring it into one's rectum.Cigarettes, cigars, and (god forbid) vapes are little sticks that are sucked on. Taking pills feels like so much more than just smoking something and feeling a brief high. Taking a pill is a scary thing. A lot of people can't even swallow them, so when a relatively safe drug is administered via tablet or capsule, it creates trepidation.
Since there is a significantly higher chance that lawmakers will be users of tobacco than prescription stimulants, there will always be a bias in legislation. A senator isn't going to vote to increase regulation on tobacco if they are a smoker. Philip Morris, the parent company or Marlboro, and British American Tobacco are both headquartered in the US allowing easy potential to bribe and corrupt US lawmakers as well.
Tobacco continues to be one of the most profitable industries in America. Last year, Philip Morris alone made $79.82 Billion, whereas Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the parent company of Vyvanse made $14 billion, most of which came from their sale of other drugs, mainly respiratory medications and cancer medications. Legalization of these stimulants simply wouldn't benefit the US economy enough, and in the end, that's really all that matters.