I consider myself to sit pretty far to the right. But there is one area that I struggle with. It happens to be one of the main reasons why I could never become a libertarian. I mean, there are a lot of reasons, but that’s a topic for another day. I’m talking about the legal sale of tobacco and alcohol.
The thing that got me to thinking about this is the current marketing campaign about seat belts. Click it or TICKET! I’m still not sure whether not wearing a seat belt is a primary offense or not. I thought they announced that it was, but now I hear people talking about it again. What business is it of the governments to mandate seat belt usage? I am totally down with requiring kids to wear seat belts. But an adult? That’s ridiculous. And to waste public safety officer resources enforcing seat belt usage? This has to be a joke.
So, my question is this: Why is it illegal not to wear a beat belt? No one is affected in any way by my choice to use or not use a seat belt. Compare this issue to alcohol. How many lives are ruined by alcohol? How much domestic violence is caused by alcohol? How many people are killed on the roads as a result of alcohol? Granted, it’s not legal to drive drunk. But doesn’t alcohol obstruct judgement? So, once you’ve legally consumed alcohol you have lost the ability to rationally decide whether to drive or not.
In my opinion, alcohol is a no-brainer. There is no reason why it should continue to be legal. Tobacco is much trickier. If tobacco is illegal, then what’s next? Caffeine? If tobacco continues to be legal, then so should marijuana. And then what? Tobacco is slippery on both sides.
I’ll just say that it’s probably best to leave all the laws as they are; however, I don’t enjoy having to walk through a cloud of smoke whenever I go to Wal*Mart to get my delicious Hostess Fruit Pies. I love that I can go to a restaraunt and not have to deal with smoking areas that never properly confine themselves.
I know that conservatives think that this is an infringement on personal freedom, but I don’t see how it’s any different than having a stranger punch you in the face without provocation. Democrats tend to like the laws that limit the legal use of tobacco.
So, I’ve said it. The democrats have one good thing going for them. But now that I think about it, why are democrats opposed to tobacco but love marijuana so much? Dang it! For a second there I was starting to think they might have had a coherent argument about something. Never mind.