On the website Change.org, members voted on what changes in the law they would like to see.
I was very happy to see that the idea to Legalize the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana received the most votes. The idea was submitted, in part, by a LEAP speaker, Larry Talley.
However, also in the running was the idea to Send the Tobacco Treaty to the Senate for Ratification. While the Tobacco Treaty doesn't actually ban tobacco, it does severely restrict and regulate it. I find it bizarre that one of the goals of the treaty is to "increase the price of tobacco products, particularly through taxation, to discourage tobacco use." The very next stated goal is to "Eliminate the illicit trade of tobacco products."
I would hope that the readers of this page would see the problem with that. They call for raising the taxes on tobacco (as if they weren't already high enough) while at the same time they expect the government to magically eliminate the illicit trade in it. Of course, it is the high taxes that bring out the illegal trade in tobacco! Tax it even more and only the criminals will benefit. Also, remember that high taxation was the tactic used to bring about the prohibition of marijuana in the United States.
I have noticed a disturbing trend where marijuana is more and more tolerated while at the same time tobacco is less and less tolerated. It is almost as if we, as people, have a need to have a scapegoat and we love demonizing plants! Neither marijuana or tobacco is generally good for you. But that isn't the point. Adults should be free to smoke either substance, without harassment. No one is saying that reasonable restrictions and taxes aren't necessary, but we ought to keep things in perspective. We should not replace a war on marijuana with a war on tobacco. The results aren't going to be any better!
Disclaimer, I am an occasional cigar smoker and an even more occasional pipe smoker. And my blog is called Tobaccoland.