by: the Common Constitutionalist
It seems, in so many ways, America is being turned upside down. What seems logical is illogical and vice versa. I can think of no better example than that of cigarettes and marijuana.
Cigarettes are legal substance. They can be purchased at any minimart, megamart and everywhere in between.
One may purchase cigarettes in New York City for between $11 and $14.50 per pack, but there is practically nowhere in the city to smoke them. Makes perfect sense.
There is an interesting phenomenon happening in this country. It seems the legal substance cigarettes, is being regulated into illegality, while the illegal substance marijuana, is gaining legality.
At the same time more states and municipalities are outlawing the use of cigarettes, they are enacting legislation to legalize marijuana. I say outlawing the use of cigarettes, not the sale, for governments could never go without the tax revenue.
Could this be the driving force for legalization of pot? Rhode Island, on the heels of the Colorado and Washington state legalization success, has vowed to bring marijuana legalization to vote. They have already estimated a $30 million tax windfall from the sale of a newly legalized substance.
But that could never be. No politician would put tax revenue head of the health of his or her constituents. (I almost fell out of my chair laughing at that one).
I’ve been saying for years; if cigarettes are so harmful, ban them. Ban the sale, not just the use. The whole concept is just absurd.
It would be like being able to purchase a car, but the state telling you, you may not drive it for you may get into an accident and kill someone.
There is no doubt that cigarettes are bad for you and are the source of suffering and death for many. Most in government, as do many ill-informed Americans, claim that smoking puts a strain on the health care system.
From a purely practical and economic standpoint, I contend cigarettes, in the long run, actually save the health care system money and thus the taxpayer. Most chronic smokers develop health problems earlier and thus die earlier than non-smokers, thereby saving money that the taxpayer would otherwise have to pay later in the non-smokers life. I know that sounds heartless but it is logical from a purely economic view.
I would find it impossible to believe that chronic marijuana smokers wouldn’t have similar health problems later in life. So what is the driving force toward legalization of pot?
Could it be that marijuana advocates have become so numerous in these states, as to force legislation or a ballot referendum? Are there that many pot smokers in this country? I sincerely doubt it.
If that isn’t it, what is behind this push for legalization? Also, when marijuana is legalized, where might potheads be able to light up? I ask, due to the dearth of cigarette friendly areas in most states these days.
For example, in liberal Boulder Colorado, most likely pothead central, cigarette smoking has been banned practically everywhere, even on porches, patios and balconies.
In Oregon there is a statewide ban and a rider within the state law allowing for municipalities to further restrict the use of cigarettes.
California also has a statewide ban on the use of cigarettes and plenty of cities and towns have further restrictions, such as bans on smoking outdoors, at bus stops, parks, and beaches, as well as in apartments and condominiums.
With all the restrictions on cigarettes, a supposed legal substance, will these restrictive municipalities allow pot smokers to light up in Park or their apartment? Might there be a special pothead waiver?
Knowing liberals as I do, I would likely say yes. Marijuana will be allowed were cigarettes aren’t. Yes, we are in bizarro world.
As for why the push to legalize marijuana, I believe there is only one reason and it is not the powerful pothead lobby. Say it with me…Taxes!
States, like the feds, spend money like drunken sailors. My apologies to drunken sailors. They don’t have the spines to cut spending nor do they have the slightest desire to do so. So they must find new streams of revenue. Legalizing and taxing marijuana is the new stream they have discovered. Like the Lewis and Clark of taxes.
It will be interesting to see just how far the spineless political class will go with the new drug legalization thing. The radicals on the left, of course, will never stop at just marijuana. This is simply the jump off point for them. After they’ve tasted success in several more states, they will move on to some other drug. Mark my words!
I have an idea for the most hated industry this side of Big Oil. Phillip Morris could become the most beloved company of the left. They just have to introduce “Marlboro Joints”. Instead of the Marlboro man, the macho cowboy smoking a cigarette, they could introduce the Marlboro Rasta-Mon, standing at the checkout of a 7-11 with the joint in one hand and a microwave burrito in the other.