The prohibitionists are riding high in California
Governments love prohibition, in all its guises and flavors. Prohibition gives rise to more law enforcement, which means not just more cops, but more prosecutors, judges, jails…and more laws and tax money, to make sure it all keeps running.
But prohibition is also a proven economic loser that also has a nasty tendency to trample civil liberties. Despite this, politicians and their courtiers in both major parties are eager to get on whatever prohibitionist bandwagon is rolling down the street. Consider what’s happening in supposedly progressive California:
Gov. Gavin Newsom last year signed Senate Bill 793, which banned the sale of flavored tobacco products. It’s on hold pending a referendum next November.
This is full-fledged Prohibition and will have the totally foreseen consequences that accompany government bans. The law targets menthol cigarettes, as well as vaping and various smokeless tobacco products such as Swedish snus.
There’s little question tobacco companies targeted African Americans in marketing menthol, but an outright sales ban will lead to black markets—such as the peddling of “loosies” on the streets of inner-city neighborhoods (and all the potentially dangerous police encounters that will take place as a result).
None of which concerns the prohibitionists, who will push their crusade against demon tobacco with all the zeal their alcohol prohibitionist ancestors did.
They will achieve the same results: a black market that enriches criminals (and the state) while making criminals out of people who happen to smoke a disfavored weed.