The New Zealand Government, in its limitless beneficence, has decided that we innocent Kiwis need to be protected from the insidious horror drug that is tobacco. The means they have chosen to protect us with is by taxing us more when we purchase cigarettes. Speaking honestly, this strategy could be rightly described as soft prohibition – and it’s just as stupid as hard prohibition.
The logic goes like this. A person’s willingness to buy a good such as tobacco is a function of the price of that good. Because tobacco is not considered medicinal, its use is considered to do nothing but cause disease. So, its use costs taxpayer money in the form of healthcare. Therefore, if you increase tobacco taxes, people will use it less and tax money will be saved on dealing with the effects of the diseases tobacco causes.
The fact that this had led to the absurdity of the Government claiming to impoverish tobacco users for their own benefit hasn’t stopped them from raising the taxes anyway.
The rise in tobacco tax has, predictably, led to a spate of robberies of dairies and other places selling tobacco. As Dan McGlashan has previously written for this newspaper, the majority of regular tobacco smokers were already doing it hard, even before the tax increases.
As this column has previously argued, tobacco ought to rightly be seen as a mental health medicine. The main reason it isn’t is because of the total dominance of materialist dogma in medical and scientific circles – the same materialist dogma that has created our prehistoric mental health system.
It doesn’t take a forensic psychology degree to be able to predict that making an expensive drug even more expensive, when many desperate people rely on it to cope with the stresses of the day, is going to lead to robberies and violence.
Ridiculously, if the Police were to apply the same logic to tobacco that they apply to cannabis, they would say that tobacco itself causes crime and that the dairy robberies are evidence that tobacco should be made illegal.
Obviously, alcohol prohibition failed and cannabis prohibition failed. Not only did they fail, but they did so at the cost of many billions of dollars, the destruction of many millions of lives, and the eradication of any faith that the younger generations may ever had had in the competence or good will of the Government or the Police.
So why on Earth would we want to repeat those two catastrophic errors with tobacco?
The most likely answer is that our politicians are as thick as pigshit and are either too stupid to learn anything from history or too arrogant to think that the laws of reality through which history unfolds apply to them.
Increasing the taxes on tobacco, with the intent of gradually making it prohibited, will increase the amount of violence and crime around the substance to a commensurate degree.
Just like prohibition did with alcohol. Just like prohibition does with cannabis. It will fail, just like prohibition always has done and always will do, because human nature will never concede that a bunch of old control freaks in Wellington have the right to prohibit the people from the free use of medicinal plants.
This won’t stop them from trying, of course. The politicians know that they are not affected by the consequences of the laws they pass. Thus, they know that it won’t be them getting robbed and slashed with machetes – they get their six-figure MP’s salary no matter what.
The real concern is what actions might be taken by those who are getting robbed. Already, dairy owners know that they are widely perceived as a soft target thanks to both not being armed and stocking large amounts of valuable tobacco.
The usual response to this degree of risk of violent robbery is for the dairy owners to start keeping firearms behind the counter.
Politicians in New Zealand don’t have the courage to admit that the Drug War they have conducted against the New Zealand people for 40 years has failed, so we know they will not have the courage to admit that their attempt to make tobacco illegal is also failing.
Probably they will keep raising the taxes until someone gets shot dead. After all, it’s neither them nor their families suffering.