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03/05/2006 07:57:39 PM · #1
After careful research and scientific examination of data, I have concluded that the US government makes about $50,000,000,000 off of cigarettes alone each and every year...that's right, fifty billion dollars.

Anyway, what got me thinking about that is thinking about alcohol and tobacco. They're such bad 'drugs' and so bad for people, they actually have no good value to the human body, and do nothing but cause people pain, give people sickness, and cause death.

So I began to think why doesn't the government just step in and make cigarettes and alcohol illegal like marijuana or cocaine? Well, I think I found the answer myself. If I was getting fifty billion dollars a year, I wouldn't do away with anything either. It's greed.

--

While doing my research, I saw a bunch of places online that sell cigarettes tax free. I'm not 100% sure how they all get away with it, but I do understand that some places, such as indian reservations, don't pay tax on anything. So if they buy 10 cases of cigarettes or if they buy 50 million cases from Marlboro, they don't pay the tax, then they resell them on the internet. Marlboro wouldn't care either, because either way, they get the money for the smokes, and the government can't do anything about it either because they simply don't pay tax.

Some states do have some law in effect that says it is illegal to take posession of cigarettes without paying tax unless you download a form fill it out, and send in a check for the tax along with the form to your local government.

Anyway, just rambling.
03/05/2006 08:02:52 PM · #2
Yeah, I think cigarettes suck. I mean they don't even have any positive effects unless you're already addicted to them, do they? At least other things do... lol

And people that smoke them usually smoke so much that they smell really bad, plus its about the worst possible thing you can do to computer parts. The inside of the case (and the monitor) gets all gunked up with the crappy nicotine residue, makes the fans stop spinning, probably short-circuits stuff, causes moving parts in all the drives to screw up, etc...
03/05/2006 08:17:09 PM · #3
Good question. But there are some quite complicated factors that make your equation unrealistic.

Like lots of other things, the tax in the UK is astronomical giving us packet prices of around £5.50 or US $10 for 20. The tax serves the purpose of reducing consumption and raising revenue to pay for the extra health care required for smokers. The cynic would say that this is more than counterbalanced by the reduction in state pension payments resulting from the higher death rate...

There is also the factor of illegally imported tax loophole or fake cigarettes: these make up a very significant proportion of cigarettes smoked, but do not raise any revenue for the state. Fake cigarettes (which are a biggerproblem than most people realise) create no revenue for the brand owners, either.

Personally, I think that the equation on tax, healthcare costs, state pension costs, lost earning potential etc may all balance out to an extent so that tax revenue is not the sole driver. The real reason (as for alcohol) is historical: it has to be phased out because prohibition has been shown not to be very effective.

The future is a little bleak for tobacco manufacturers, given the increasing prohibition of cigarette smoking in public places in first world states. The driver for this has been the relatively recent identification of the risk factors deriving from passive smoking. This significantly undermines the liberal argument for permitting smoking.

One interesting side-effect of banning smoking is the increase in risk for air travel. Smokers on aeroplanes performed a useful service, as the nicotine/tar in cigarette smoke used to stain the area around microscopic stress fractures identifying minor pressure leaks through which smoky cabin air was leaking. These could be easily spotted by the naked eye and the plane pulled for maintenance. Nowadays, expensive machines are far less effective!

Message edited by author 2006-03-05 20:19:43.
03/06/2006 05:06:57 PM · #4
Money makes the world go round.

But making drugs illegal only makes for lucrative drug trade. It doesnít stop drugs at all. Also criminalizing addiction instead of helping people get clean is also stupid. And spending 40-50 Billion dollars a year to stop drugs even though it doesnít work is stupid. I just read today that many US weather satellites are in dire need of maintenance and upgrade but NASA is dealing with budget cuts and this could lead to reduced ability to track and analyze the weather, including hurricanes and other storms.

A report released in December 2005 by the Government Accountability Office showed that, despite U.S. law to the contrary, the more than 50 plus agencies working on the problem have little effect on the overall production and consumption of illegal drugs.

There is one sure thing having drugs illegal does: it creates a very lucrative underground crime market, just like the old mob and its illegal alcohol.

Some Wiki info War on Drugs and Arguments for and against drug prohibition

And thats pretty funny legalbeagle about the smoking showing cracks in the airplanes working better than machines.
03/06/2006 06:11:23 PM · #5
Mountain biking, hockey, ATV/ATCs, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, hang gliding, fatty foods, snow boarding, caffeine, skateboarding, potato chips, bungee jumping... All can be considered dangerous and bad for you (and don't really make a lot of money for uncle sam or have a lot of positive effects). Do you really want the government to regulate everything?

But for what it's worth, I agree banning them would be a good idea. I'd just rather the government not regulate what they think is good and bad for me. I'm a big boy and I can make my own decisions.

03/10/2006 12:18:22 PM · #6
i am an ex-smoker, last butt was Oct 20. I don't think they should be illegal, if people are dumb enough to buy them, get themselves hooked and die of it, fine. There are millions of things that people inflict on themselves that are harmful. What should be policed is the marketing and chemistry of tobacco.

What should happen is marijuana should be legal.
03/10/2006 02:30:53 PM · #7
Originally posted by Jmnuggy:

I don't think they should be illegal, if people are dumb enough to buy them, get themselves hooked and die of it, fine. There are millions of things that people inflict on themselves that are harmful.


However, tobacco has recently been shown to harm the people around you. In a place of work (eg bar or restaurant), people (and especially the workers) cannot avoid your carcinogenic smoke. That is why smoking is gradually being banned in public places in various developed countries.


03/10/2006 02:57:00 PM · #8
Originally posted by legalbeagle:


However, tobacco has recently been shown to harm the people around you. In a place of work (eg bar or restaurant), people (and especially the workers) cannot avoid your carcinogenic smoke. That is why smoking is gradually being banned in public places in various developed countries.


Nobody is forcing those people to work there. I think the owners of those places should have the choice to let smokers if they want to. What about concert staff or people that go to them? The amount of noise they are subject to isn't healthy. Should concerts be forced to turn down the music because it's too loud for some people who made the choice to be there?

IMO, if cigs, loud music, alcohol or anything else that can have an adverse affect on others IS legal than it should be legal to allow those things in the places you own.

Message edited by author 2006-03-10 14:58:24.
03/10/2006 03:00:18 PM · #9
Excerpt from Scott Adam's (creator of Dilbert) blog entry of 3/1/2006:
Take smoking in public; I favor banning that because I donít like to be around it. According to Penn and Teller Ė notable skeptics Ė there isnít any good science proving second hand smoke hurts people. So Iíll stop using that argument. But there isnít any science that says littering hurts you either, and Iím against that because I donít want to look at it. Second hand smoke is like litter in my nose.

Message edited by author 2006-03-10 15:02:21.
03/10/2006 03:04:16 PM · #10
Originally posted by dahved:

From Scott Adam's (creator of Dilbert) blog:
Take smoking in public; I favor banning that because I donít like to be around it. According to Penn and Teller Ė notable skeptics Ė there isnít any good science proving second hand smoke hurts people. So Iíll stop using that argument. But there isnít any science that says littering hurts you either, and Iím against that because I donít want to look at it. Second hand smoke is like litter in my nose.


This could also be used for a host of other things like certain forms of art, sexual images, etc. It's litter to my eyes. When it all comes down to it, it's about advancing one's personal preferences/agenda. I'd like the world to be this way just because I like it better that way.
03/10/2006 03:45:03 PM · #11
Originally posted by Jmnuggy:

What should happen is marijuana should be legal.


Tell me... would brain surgeons be required to inform their patients that they had several tokes, before or after the operation.

The state of impairment clouds one's judgement and abilities regardless of the source.

Ray
03/10/2006 03:50:12 PM · #12
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by Jmnuggy:

What should happen is marijuana should be legal.


Tell me... would brain surgeons be required to inform their patients that they had several tokes, before or after the operation.

The state of impairment clouds one's judgement and abilities regardless of the source.

Ray


So your saying is that if they make Marijuana legal then brain surgeons will become stoners and operate high?

I don't see your connection.

Message edited by author 2006-03-10 15:50:24.
03/10/2006 03:53:10 PM · #13
Originally posted by thegrandwazoo:

Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by Jmnuggy:

What should happen is marijuana should be legal.


Tell me... would brain surgeons be required to inform their patients that they had several tokes, before or after the operation.

The state of impairment clouds one's judgement and abilities regardless of the source.

Ray


So your saying is that if they make Marijuana legal then brain surgeons will become stoners and operate high?

I don't see your connection.


Further to that, surgeons can still currently drink, since that is legal, but they choose not to...
Just cause its legal, doesnt mean everyone will start using.
03/10/2006 03:59:21 PM · #14
First of all, we are talking about the freedom of choice. For those that want to ruin their health, let them. For those that want to take choice away, your a nazi.

Secondly, Indian Reservations even though are regulated under the Bureau of Indian Affairs, most tribes, like my people, are considered a soverant independant nation. Recieving goods from the government, or industry without taxation is a common accurrance on a reservation. Give us the land back that the white man stole, and we will be happy to give you white folk a reservation of your very own so that you won't have to pay taxes either.


03/10/2006 04:02:26 PM · #15
Originally posted by CzechMan:


So your saying is that if they make Marijuana legal then brain surgeons will become stoners and operate high?

I don't see your connection.


Further to that, surgeons can still currently drink, since that is legal, but they choose not to...
Just cause its legal, doesnt mean everyone will start using. [/quote]

Not at all... what I am advocating is that what we need are less items that can impair judgement........not more.

Ray
03/10/2006 04:13:26 PM · #16
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by CzechMan:


So your saying is that if they make Marijuana legal then brain surgeons will become stoners and operate high?

I don't see your connection.


Further to that, surgeons can still currently drink, since that is legal, but they choose not to...
Just cause its legal, doesnt mean everyone will start using.


Not at all... what I am advocating is that what we need are less items that can impair judgement........not more.

Ray [/quote]

Ok but Marijuana has been grown on every continent on the planet for over 10,000 years its not going anywhere.

What I understand you to say is you don't like the idea of Marijuana becoming legal.

Is that correct? If so I can respect that. Personally I feel prohibition does not work for anything. I am a libertarian so I am against all laws deeming consensual activities illegal.

Just my $.02

03/10/2006 04:33:38 PM · #17
Erick (thegrandwazoo), am I correct that your view excludes minors and/or those with mental impairment?

Message edited by author 2006-03-10 16:35:19.
03/10/2006 04:56:10 PM · #18
Originally posted by dahved:

Erick (thegrandwazoo), am I correct that your view excludes minors and/or those with mental impairment?


Without question!
03/11/2006 12:04:05 AM · #19
Originally posted by deapee:

......So I began to think why doesn't the government just step in and make cigarettes and alcohol illegal like marijuana or cocaine? .....


That banning alcohol thing worked so well in the US 80 years back that it's worth another try right? :-) It would never realistically work - it doesn't now for the weed and coke (and remember we are waging WAR on them, not just a police action:) and it didn't then for booze.

I do think that people should have the option to go to smoke free bars e.t.c. if they don't want to but it bothers me a little that it's now the law in a lot of places (I have never been a smoker and I hate the smoke in bars, so it's not a smoker looking for a reason). I don't know about the second hand smoke thing but it seems reasonable to me to put some restrictions in public places if that has a reasonable basis in fact (it happens on all of us in other areas and for more stupid reasons).

Does anybody think the automobile would be allowed if it was suggested today :-)
03/11/2006 06:00:13 AM · #20
I'd agree with those that said banning smoking is unrealistic, but they have almost made it next to impossible to do anyway. I smoked from age 12 to 30 (wife and I both quit in 1991) and my stepdaughter smokes and I can't stand the smell so bad I wondered how anyone could ever tolerate being around me. My parents smoked, in the car, with 5 kids in it, no seatbelts either.

I am absolutely against telling bar owners what they can and can't allow (as long as it is legal). All patrons and employees are there by choice. It seems to me that if the government is so concerned about peoples health that they need to regulate by law, they should make it illegal for parents to smoke in the house when they have children (not there by choice) and especially in the car.

My biggest pet peeve is the lack of logic and consistency in the law. Some things that are ten times more damaging to society are legal,, while other things that are statistically less of a problem (if you go down the list) are banned. My wife was telling me about Eola or Ephedrine products that were popular diet products a year or two ago were outlawed seemingly without a whisper. Put some companies out of business who were selling a natural product (MaHuang, I think) - all outlawed by the FDA because of 100 "related" deaths. ONE HUNDRED! How many smokers, alcohol drinkers, etc, etc die every day that they had to expend effort and resources on banning Ephedra?? What number was it on the list?

Then recently (this week?) the courts overturned the ruling and it is once again legal, but get it while you can cuz the FDA has appealed the turnover. Let's hope they divert ALL their resources away from approving AIDS and Cancer treating drug approvals before another hundred people die. jeez.
03/12/2006 11:43:28 AM · #21
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by Jmnuggy:

What should happen is marijuana should be legal.


Tell me... would brain surgeons be required to inform their patients that they had several tokes, before or after the operation.

The state of impairment clouds one's judgement and abilities regardless of the source.

Ray


Are brain surgeons currently required to inform their patients that they may have consumed sveral glasses of beer or wine, shots of whiskey, etc.? As long as (s)he is not 'high' or otherwise impaired while on the job, it shouldn't be anyboy's God-damn business if they want to 'take a few tokes' or whatever, on their own, non-working time.
03/12/2006 01:07:51 PM · #22
I smoke cigarettes, I drink alcohol....I even don't mind the occassional bong. It's my choice. Leave me be!
03/14/2006 09:48:21 AM · #23
For those who think that legalizing marijuana would create a society of pothead stoners who can't function is just crazy. Doctors wouldn't practice high, police wouldn't be stoned on teh job. What would happen is that marijuana and its biproducts would hit the economy. Marijuana could be sold in hash bars like Amsterdam, that means increases in jobs for food service people, a competitive growing industry. With a marijuana growing industry comes scientific breakthroughts such as new medicines etc. Not to even metion the biproducts of the actual plant (paper, rope, twine, clothing etc...) We are missing the bigger picture, all the gov't sees is 5th graders getting high and failing out of school. Most people can excercise a bit of good judgement, and use tobacco, alcohol or marijuana in a safe and controlled manner.
03/29/2006 07:15:40 PM · #24
Personally I am in favor of legalizing all drugs. Not because I want to do them, but because I believe that legalizing drugs would actually be more beneficial to society. We all know that prohibition didn't work, and "prohibition" isn't working today either against illegal drugs - drug cartels are still making billions of dollars while the US fights a pointless, unwinnable "war." The fact is, if someone wants to take illegal drugs, they will find a way to get them, legal or not.

So why doesn't the government just step in and legalize all drugs? They could regulate production and all drugs bought at the store would have labels from the FDA telling you exactly what you're buying, the concentration of the drug, and even provide a recommended dosage. Instead of getting a mystery substance from someone on the streets, you'd know exactly what you were putting into your body.

Drug pushers sell the strongest, most addictive drug possible so their buyers will keep coming back. If drugs were legalized, drugs could be diluted and sold in varying concentrations, just like alcohol is - you have your 3% alcohol beer and your 90% alcohol everclear, for example. The majority of drinkers drink the lower, less harmful concentrations of alcohol. The same principle could be applied to other drugs and substances.

For those that are addicted to drugs and want help, they could seek professional help without simply being thrown in jail. Addiction to a drug is a problem, not a crime.

The money saved from fighting the "war on drugs" could be put into anti-drug education, educating the youth in schools about the perils and dangers of drug use and then allowing them to make an educated decision for themselves.

And for those of you who think drug abuse would go up if drugs were legalized, consider this. In the Netherlands, after marijuana was legalized, the percent of users dropped from 10% to 6.5%. But even IF the number of users stayed roughly the same or even increased slightly, the majority of the users would be taking safer, lower concentrations of the drug - the beer as opposed to the everclear.

When it all comes down to it, whether someone chooses to do drugs or not is a personal decision. How can the government impose morality on its citizens? The illegality of it will not stop those who wish to take drugs. And where there is a demand for drugs, a supply will be made - so why not simply regulate that supply?
03/29/2006 07:38:13 PM · #25
I tend to agree with many of the points justin_hewlett made without being able to verify any of the stats quoted. I do think that there is the additional consideration of PROPERTY CRIME related to drugs. How does legalizing drugs do anything about the number of break-ins and car thefts associated with drug addicted people looking for money to fuel their habit? Yes, legalization may bring down the street cost, but there will always be a cost associated with the drug, and the govt is sure to take their "cut" for administering all this infastructure.
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