By Alan Caruba
We live in the “land of the free”, right? Wrong. We live in a land that is a nation of laws, not of men. That is to say, we don’t live someplace where the “Supreme Leader” can tell us whether we can smoke or not.
Instead, Congress gets together and passes yet another useless law to tell us whether we can smoke or not.
They are doing this, of course, for our own good. Those of us over the age of consent, old enough to serve in the military, and old enough to vote are simply not to be trusted on matters such as whether we choose to smoke or not. And the operative word here is “choose.”
The President, a man who likes to surround himself with “czars”, signed a new law that gives the Food and Drug Administration unprecedented authority to regulate tobacco. Typically, this piece of tyranny is dressed up to look like something else. It is called the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
Every pernicious attack on freedom is always done on behalf of the “family” or “for the kids.”
I have searched the U.S. Constitution to find where it says anything about the government having the right to prevent people from smoking if they want.
The law does not let the FDA ban nicotine outright, but it will be able to regulate what goes into tobacco products, require the amount of nicotine to be reduced, and do everything short of requiring a skull and crossbones on the package.
This impulse of people in public office to pass laws and regulations to prevent people from doing what they are going to do no matter what the laws says is so base, so vile, and so useless that one need only cast one’s eyes back to the 18th Amendment to the Constitution to understand how wrong it is.
The Amendment banned “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to its jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is strictly prohibited.” It banned booze. It was passed in 1919.
The 21st Amendment repealed it in 1933 when it was apparent to everyone that people, adults, were going to drink some form of booze no matter what the do-gooders in government said about it. The “experiment” was called Prohibition. It was a failure.
One can only hope that this experiment in crowd control and private behavior will fail, but we can be very sure that tobacco bootleggers from Canada and Mexico will grow wealthy smuggling the real deal into the nation to satisfy the tastes of Americans grown tired of paying exorbitant prices for one of life’s simple pleasures.
The ghosts of Al Capone and the gangsters from the period of Prohibition are probably having a good laugh over this new law.