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Prohibition: Republican Senator Calls for Outlawing Tobacco

Supposed free-market conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who is also an MD, called last week on the Senate floor for cigarettes and other tobacco products to be outlawed. Coburn may have been merely seeking to score political points against the Democrats as the Senate debated a bill to have tobacco regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) -- it passed Thursday and is now headed for the president's desk-- but nonetheless, the prohibitionist impulse towards tobacco has now been clearly articulated in the Congress.
Tom Coburn
"What we should be doing is banning tobacco," Coburn said during debate on the bill, as reported in the Congress-watching publication The Hill. "Nobody up here has the courage to do that. It is a big business. There are millions of Americans who are addicted to nicotine. And even if they are not addicted to the nicotine, they are addicted to the habit."

Instead of authorizing the FDA to regulate tobacco sales, marketing, and manufacture, the stuff should simply be banned, Coburn said. "If we really want to make a difference in health and we want to eliminate dependence on tobacco, what we have to do is to stop the addiction."

Placing tobacco under FDA regulation would just confuse the agency, the Oklahoma Republican argued. The agency's mission is to ensure the safety of food and drugs, and there is nothing safe about tobacco, he said. And regulating tobacco means not banning it, he added. "In this bill, we allow existing tobacco products not ever to be eliminated," he said.

With smokers the target of growing social ostracism and increasingly pervasive regulation, as well as being favorite subjects for targeted taxation, outright prohibition could be the eventual end game. But Coburn suggested Democrats, who back the regulation legislation, would seek to block outright prohibition because they seek to benefit a key interest group: trial lawyers. "We have had all of these lawsuits through the years where billions of dollars have gone into attorneys' coffers," he said.

Coburn was doubtless trying to score political points by accusing the majority of being in the pocket of the trial lawyers, but now someone in Congress may take him up on his crusade. Goodness knows prohibitionist sentiment still runs very deep in that august deliberative body.

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tobacco prohibition

What an incredibly stupid idea. We tried to prohibit alcohol, and it led to major criminal activity while failing utterly. We tried outlawing various drugs, and again it led to major criminal activity while failing utterly. Now this ignorant Doctor-Senator wants to ban the most addictive drug known to man, tobacco. Maybe he should pull his head out of the sand (or wherever it is) and observe what's happening in the real world.



do these people ever learn?

This is unbelievable we are making progress on the marijuana front and now this! So lets turn how many more law abiding americans into criminals? Is there anything this nation does to want to control? So my question is this where do i buy Tobacco seeds I'm into it i want to be on the leading edge of this new black market! Its funny in a way years ago I told fellow workers who smoked tobacco they wouldnt like it much when they had to grow their tobacco under lights or hidden in the forest they thought was crazy.
I also see potential for preemployment tobacco testing and random testing during employment. this leads us into a new era of prohibition whats next maybe alcohol again?

Outlawing Tobacco

What an A$$ Hole Tom Coburn is. Hey Tom, what are you and the others in Washington going to do when you don't have all the tax money you get from tobacco. What are you going to tax then? Or what new tax will you people create.
Doesn't Washinton realize, everytime you pass a law like the FDA controlling toabcco, you are now creating another new crime. Somewhere, someone will make cigs and other tobacco the way people like it. Now you have the black market trade, as with the high taxes on tobacco. You can buy it alot cheaper on the street. Now Washinton and the states don't have the tax money. For some reason, the people in Washington think they should control what people want. Thats how the mafia got started. Supply the people with what they want.
Your suppose to be working for WE THE PEOPLE, not what you want. Your personal feelings don't mean a damn to us. Start thinking about us, the people that put you where you are.

Corrupt cops & guards

Here's a perfect example for you Tom Coburn. If the cops & guards are doing this, what do you think the people on the street are doing? Now tobacco?
This story I got from this site.

It never ends. Another week of greedy jail guards and thieving policemen. This whole cops robbing drug dealers thing is getting kind of old, too. But let's get to it:

In Carlisle, Indiana, a Wabash Valley Correctional Facility guard was arrested June 4 as he attempted to go to work carrying marijuana, cell phones and chargers, tobacco, and a video game player. Guard James Sheerin, 25, faces drug trafficking and possession charges. When investigators searched his car after his arrest, they also found cocaine, heroin, and more cell phones. Sheerin was last reported being held at the Sullivan County Jail.

In St. Louis, three jail guards were indicted by a federal grand jury June 4 for distributing drugs to inmates at the St. Louis City Justice Center. Correctional officers James Lamont Moore, Peggy O'Neal, and Marilyn Denise Brown are accused of repeatedly delivering what they thought was heroin to prisoners this year. In a sting operation, the hapless trio received purported heroin from an individual outside the Justice Center, along with cash, and secretly delivered the fake smack to an inmate inside. Moore and Brown face one count each of attempted distribution of heroin; O'Neal faces two counts. Each count carries a maximum 20-year sentence upon conviction.

In Philadelphia, a former Philadelphia police officer was convicted Monday of using his police badge and gun to rob drug dealers. Former officer Malik Snell was found guilty of conspiracy, attempted robbery, and a weapons charge for an attempted home invasion robbery in Pottstown. He was also convicted in another incident in which he ripped-off $40,000 from a South Philly drug kingpin during a bogus traffic stop. Snell had endured two earlier trials than ended in mistrials, but the third time was the charm. He faces up to 17 1/2 years when sentenced on September 9.

In Laredo, Texas, a former Laredo airport police officer was sentenced last Friday to 20 months in federal prison on cocaine distribution charges. Former airport cop Vidal Gerardo Sepulveda went down in an FBI sting after selling $700 worth of cocaine while in uniform.

In Benton Harbor, Michigan, a former Benton Harbor narcotics officer was sentenced Wednesday to 37 months in prison and four years probation for staging phony drug raids where he stole drugs. Former officer Andrew Collins, 26, went down after an FBI investigation found crack cocaine and other drugs in his locker. He pleaded guilty to intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine.

tobacco prohibition

A great idea! Lets just criminalize a couple of hundred million Americans! What a wonderful country we will be in then. Can criminalization of oreos be far behind? MORONS

Why make new laws... gov't already has seized the power to...

Why make new laws... gov't already has seized the power to prohibit - under the name of regulation - in the 'Controlled Substance Act'.

Simply regulate tobacco - as more deadly then heroin - as the law already allows - and prohibit it. The same could be said for alcohol or any other drug more dangerous then cannabis... if the law were legal... which we all know it ain't... otherwise common sense would have ruled the day... instead of the special interests whores intent on persecuting an entire segment of civil society.

People will still demand to smoke something and weed would be the safest reasonable alternative... besides if they can't grow tobacco anymore they'll advocate growing something else... perhaps hemp and marijuana... they still have to make money somehow!

Smoke This Instead!

B.S. The last thing the purveyors of gods & gov'ts want are open honest debates... about anything that runs counter to their authoritarian cause... of control and manipulation. Remember these institutions routinely kill or incarcerate 'individuals' and 'gnostics' with desenting viewpoints... and the greater the truth... the harder they will condemn and persecute you.

once again we have a

once again we have a republican showing that he has his head stuff up his but If the government is so dead set on tobacco use WHY DO THEY CONTINUE TO SUBSIDIZE THE TOBACCO FARMERS ?? The government wants to stop tobaccouse yet pays farmers for growing it How stuoid is that???

Ignorance Abounds

Tobacco has been a "cash" crop for centuries. As a matter of fact it was an important part of how this country got off the ground, now to ban tobacco products would be like taking the bubbles out of soft drinks. Makes no sense at all to intelligent people, but then again it appears to come from the less enlightened types that keep cannbis on the "illegal list". With this sort of thinking what will be next. start taxing going to the bathroom?


Perhaps we should ban politicos. There's a lot to be said for limited government.

I'm with this guy! The

I'm with this guy! The founding fathers didn't want a massive Federal Government to tell you how to live your life. The states were supposed to make their own laws about these issues.

I like that the fda will now

I like that the fda will now apparently regulate tobacco ads, manufacturing, and sales. The guy says it would be confusing to the fda to do that. It shouldn't be so confusing. All drugs should be legal and the fda should regulate all of them.

One thing i like about this guy trying to outlaw tobacco is this: now they're going to have to debate (or at least think about) the possibility, and in doing so it should become apparent that marijuana and some other drugs should not be illegal either. I mean, anybody now who's against this guy's idea will have to debate why tobacco should be legal, and why would those same arguments not work for marijuana?

I'm not for tobacco

I'm not for tobacco prohibiton, but I greatly respect Coburn for at least being consistent.

Very rare to find a politician be for legalizing marijuana, also very rare to find a politician who would actually be consistent and demand that socially acceptable drugs be banned.

This is exactly what

This is exactly what Professor Charles Whitebread said would happen 14 years ago in his Speech to the California Judges Association

"Here comes the new one [prohibition]? What's it going to be? No, it won't be guns, this one starts easy. This one is the Surgeon General has what? --Determined -- not "we want a little more checking it out", not "we need a few more studies", not "reasonable people disagree" -- "The Surgeon General has determined that the smoking of cigarettes will kill you."...

You know the Federal Government has been spending a lot of money since 1968 trying to persuade us not to smoke. And, indeed, the absolute numbers on smoking have declined very little. But, you know who has quit smoking, don't you? In gigantic numbers? The college-educated, that's who. The college-educated, that's who doesn't smoke. Who are they? Tomorrow's what? Movers and kickers, that's who. Tomorrow's movers and kickers don't smoke. Who does smoke? Oh, you know who smokes out of all proportion to their numbers in the society -- it is the people standing in your criminal courtrooms, that's who. Who are they? Tomorrow's moved and kicked, that's who.
And, there it is friends, once it divides between the movers and kickers and the moved and kicked it is all over and it will be all over very shortly.

It starts with "You know, they shouldn't smoke, they are killing themselves." Then it turns, as it has -- you see the ads out here -- "They shouldn't smoke, they are killing us." And pretty soon, that class division will happen, we will have the legislatures full of tomorrow's movers and kickers and they are going to say just what they are going to say any time now. "You know, this has just gotta stop, and we got an answer for it." We are going to have a criminal statute that forbids the manufacture, sale, or possession of tobacco cigarettes, or tobacco products period.

Yep, right on schedule. And no less stupid that any other substance prohibition has proven to be.

And no, I don't smoke tobacco. Hate the smell of it. But I'm not about to try to prohibit it for the exact same reasons other prohibitions never work. Evidently people in Congress must suffer secret lobotomies upon entering office; you have to be f-ked in the head to try something like this...

warm up your grow lights

warm up your grow lights for the new cash crop tobacco
and the market is huge 40% of adults ($$$$$$$$$$)
get the tobacco grow books going and open a hydro store
wooohoooooooo!!!!!!! or
find a job in the new prison.......

Under the FDA....? Shouldn't

Under the FDA....? Shouldn't tobacco be under the DEA? Nicotine is highly dependence-inducing and I can't think of any accepted medical use. That means it qualifies for Schedule A along with that evil crazy-weed: cannabis!

Prohibit! Prohibit! I don't like it so nobody else should either! Prohibit! Prohibit!

Fellow asshats of America, unite! These tobacco-junkies have had free choice for far too long!

"Prohibit! Prohibit! I don't

"Prohibit! Prohibit! I don't like it so nobody else should either! Prohibit! Prohibit!" yoursarcasm is delightful, but how exactly can you justify tobacco proliferation?

Asa Hutchinson spoke of this years ago...

...when he was dea head. I think it was on a 20/20. There was a question about relaxing some of the laws, and his response was that no, they wouldn't be doing that, and that in fact it was likely tobacco would be added to the list in ten or fifteen years. And that's been five or so years back.

It may be one guy's sarcastic point today, but these things have a way of growing legs.

Geeze Louise, Gimme a

Geeze Louise, Gimme a break. I hate tobacco, It makes me ill, BUT, the last thing I'd EVER do is Prohibit any adult of legal age of smoking cigarettes--PLEASE, just don't smoke around me.. Prohibition is EVIL. Throw this jerk out of office.

yeah, um

Doesnt this moron realize that this is the path towards having some authority figure dictate to individuals every aspect of their lives so that they may be healthy? Say good by to any relative freedom that we may have had. He just better hope that he already lives how the authorities will dictate, otherwise he will be a criminal. Maybe we should tell him who it is healthy to breed with and who a healthy friend is. Maybe we should tell him what healthy thoughts are and what healthy cloths are. Maybe we should force him to eat an absolutely healthy diet according so someone other then him. Pleasure is bad Tom. Love is an addiction reinforced by Pleasure Tom. Your excessivly large salary is bad Tom. Your existenance is bad Tom. We should put you on prohibition Tom. I dont even smoke or like Tobacco.

This is America, the Land of the Free. That means you have the right to ingest what you want and associate with who you want. Prohibition is anti-American. There is so much crap out there that I see a horrible for people, but this is America. I am an American. The people have the right to live in a manner that I disagree with as long as they keep off of my feet and dont fuck my shit up!

All concensual activities are to be tolerated to realize America's full potential.

Exactly how does nicotine

Exactly how does nicotine benefit society? It's a useless drug that makes you addicted and that's really all it does. The man is not talking about banning a drug like cannbis or alcohol that has its pro's and con's. Tobacco has no pro's and is therefore useless to society. Would you keep tobacco legal to support your idea of "freedom" when the only reason to not ban the drug is that that act might be seen as a precedent to further erosion of our "freedoms". To hold steadfastly to a belief that any kind of prohibtion is wrong is ignorant. You have to look at each case based on its individual merits and I challenge anyone to give me one good reason that tobacco should not be banned bar the fact that your "freedom" is infringed upon.
mr "yeah, um"- what exactly is free about a society that puts huge emphasis on the siege mentality? It appears to me as an outside observer that in your country people are becoming more distant from the world and the idea of supporting your country, unrelentlessly, is the objective status quo. the us vs them mentality. Your country was born out of the ideas of people like thomas paine who relentlessly argued that the people that have gone before have no right to control the governemnt in the present. Patriotism to a country is dangerous(especially when your countries foreign policy is so two-faced, can you justify condemning terrorism when your country has engaged in countless numbers of these such acts?), whereas support of virtous idea should be the only political support we give.
In effect Paine ( i apologise for not quoting him directly) was calling for a pragmatic style of government rather than the authoritatrian selfish government styles of france and Britain at the time. Exactly where is the pragmatism in condemning prohibition without judging it on its merits and leaping up proclaiming your "freedom" has been slighted.
p.s when you feel like making a point i would hesitiate to weigh into the argument like your input will be the most fascinating comment. "yeah um" has an air of arrogance to it that is a little undermined by a poorly made argument based upon the trotting out of your idea called "freedom".
good day.

How is prohibition evil? is

How is prohibition evil? is your judgement clouded by precedent? the alcohol and drug prohibition laws were unsuccessful for various reasons. you cant just lump them all into the one pile and deem everything in that bracket as "bad".

Yay, more contributions to

Yay, more contributions to the prison population, might as well go out and buy my own orange jumpsuit, and a jock strap I can wear backwards.

Kinda funny actually....

I'd say go for it - let's have a serious national talk about banning something that is more harmful and addictive then heroin. Let's try it with alcohol as well. Let's make this a war on all drugs and not just a war on some drugs. Maybe we can just finally admit that "hey, humans like to use drugs, go figure."

I think any attempt to outlaw tobacco will backfire and is more likely to lead to a serious discussion on all drugs. So, let's bring it on. Both alcohol and tobacco are clearly Schedule 1 drugs according to any serious analysis of their potential for abuse and lack of any acceptable medical usage. Keeping these dangerous drugs legal while jailing people for less harmful drugs means all the current drug laws are totally arbitrary and capricious (insomuch as nearly all illegal drugs are demonstrably safer then America's two favorite legal drugs). If we as a society are willing to tolerate tobacco and alcohol (and keep them legal) then we as a society should be willing to tolerate marijuana (or even heroin) and make it legal. Personally I don't think government should be in the business of regulating personal choices or legislating morality. Sure, smoking is kind of dumb. So is looking at porn. Whatever. Humans do stupid things. But really, what one does in the privacy of their own lungs is really none of my business and it is certainly not the government's business. (I would argue that drug prohibition was never constitutional to begin with. Why did we need a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, but banning pot just became a fait accompli without any discussion of it's constitutionality. Does that make any legal sense to anyone?)

To live in a free society we have to defend other people's right to make choices that we wouldn't make. Freedom is an all or nothing proposition. Once we decide Hustler is bad and ban it, then Mark Twain is next in line. Same with picking and choosing which drugs are "approved" and which aren't. Lets force the 45.3 million Americans that smoke tobacco into a coalition with the 64% of adult Americans who drink alcohol then try tossing them into the same prisons along with the 80 million Americans who admit to smoking marijuana (and support it's legalization) and then tax the remaining 10% of the population to pay for it all and then maybe the current drug laws will be seen for the weird moralistic mishmash of illogical, arbitrary non-science based Puritanical mythology that they've become.

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