Ron Paul: Let the people decide on tobacco usage

Date: 6/12/2009

Ron Paul: Thank you, Madame Speaker. I don’t think anybody can argue at all with the intentions of the proposal of this bill. There’s no question that cigarettes are very, very harmful. The question for me here is the process and I find the process here atrocious because it assumes that authoritarianism is right and proper and works, and that volunteerism and education and self-reliance and depending on one’s self to take care of one’s self is [not] a proper approach.

We totally reject our free society and assume that if we just have tobacco police roaming the country, then all of a sudden that habits are going to be cleared up. We’re dealing with bad habits and these are bad for health.

But let me tell you, I could bring you a list here of dozens and dozens of things that bad habits lead to death. As a matter of fact, one of the things that we ought to consider is, you know, how many people die from our drug war? We have a drug war because about 3,000 people die from the use of illegal drugs, so we have a drug war going on and tens and thousands of people die.

It’s so exasperating at times because we always have two proposals here, or we have two ways of solving problems or dealing with tobacco. For decades, what did we do? We subsidized tobacco and now, we want to prohibit tobacco. Why don’t we just let the people decide?

This whole idea that you either have to subsidize something or prohibit something shows a shallowness that I think that we ought to challenge. One part of this bill that I find particularly bad, but it is pervasive in so much of what we do, about a hundred years ago, we took the First Amendment and the freedom of speech and chopped it into two pieces.

We have political speech. Of course, we like that. We’re in the business of politics, but we take commercial speech and we put it over here and we regulate the living daylights out of commercial speech. That’s not a First Amendment. That’s chopping freedom in half and that just leads to more problems, but this will lead to prohibition and it won’t work and this will just give us a lot more trouble.

You’ll say, “Well, how will these problems be handled if we just permit people to advertise?” Well, you’re not allowed to commit fraud. You’re not allowed to commit slander. You’re not allowed to commit any libel, slander or fraud, so there are prohibitions, but this approach can’t work.

It is assumed that people are total idiots, they won’t respond to education, that we have to be the nanny state. We want to expand the war on drugs, which is a total failure and look at what happened to prohibition of alcohol and you’ll say, “Well, no, this is not prohibition.”

It is going to be prohibition. It’s a form of prohibition and when you have prohibition or even approach prohibition, what do you create? You create the black market. We will see the black market come and already the taxes are opening up the doors of the black market.

All I ask for is people to reconsider, believe that freedom and self-reliance and individualism can solve these problems a lot better than a bunch of politicians and bureaucrats and tobacco police here from Washington, D.C.

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  • David

    Hehehehe, okay now this post is just for fun and has absolutely no purpose or consequence other than that.

    When i was in the army, we had a Sergeant who always carried a pack of cigarettes with him. If he caught anyone chewing gum, he would take them into our squad room sit them in a chair and make them smoke that entire pack of cigarettes one after the other. I guess the theory was that by the time they were finished they should have a new habit and not have to chew gum anymore LOL.

    This was in the latter days of the “cold war” and I guess the theory back then was that chewing gum was uncouth and no one cared about smoking 🙂

    LOL the non smoking gum chewers always came out of there pretty green as well 🙂

  • Ben

    I despise the anti-tobacco authoritarians. Way to go, Ron Paul.

    Now if we could just convince him that Islamic terrorists wanted to kill us long before we wanted to kill them…that would be progress.


  • mickey

    My brother has lung cancer. He did smoke 40 yrs ago. I think however that they blamed smoking for the cancer. The nurses and doctors were astonished when I told them he smoked a pipe. I’m sure they filed under some kind of cigarette relief fund. Just like the war funding and including the unions, every time they want money for something else, they increase wars or the tax on cigarettes. It is not a good habit but neither is jogging on hard pavement in toxic gas traffic. Imagine how much gas is inhaled while running. That’s good for the lungs. And yes, the fat tax coming up. Tax, tax, tax and it has nothing to do with the well being of any body–including those who have chem lawns and let their kids play on them. I could go on about the toxic herbicides on the fields people eat but what’s the use. Yep, it sure is a diversion though.

    • David

      Hi Mickey;

      OMG finally someone with a brain who’s acknowledging that smoking is not the root of all evil. Banks are LOLOL

      You are so right as well, a person will inhale far more carcinogens on the trip to and from the bar than he will get from the two heavy smokers sitting next to him. I ran into an article a long time ago which i saved, which was published by an MD who was sick and tired of all the politically correct hype and gave us the actual statistics. Here it is:

      Anyway, in terms of your brother i don’t know where his treatment is at right now or how much hope he has of surviving, but i do have a solution for him if he needs one which i’ve personally used twice and successfully to cure cancer and which were using a 3rd time now on full blown metastatic liver cancer. From all the indications, its doing what its supposed to and the guy looks like he’s going to be okay, had no chance otherwise. The medical profession hates this stuff because there’s no way anyone can make any money with it, but i know many people who have used it successfully, and there are a number of MD’s in this country who are treating cancer with it illegally because it works as well. If he needs a solution, and if he has a set of cast iron balls, and is willing to go against everything the trained professionals tell him and do something on his own that will give him a chance, this can give him a very good one, even if the cancer is very far advanced. BTW this stuff is nasty, its an active hunt and kill on the cellular level and not some silly herbal health remedy, but will also do no damage to anything in the body except the cancer, which is why it works.

      If you need the info, send me an email at [email protected] and i’ll get it to you, he’ll have everything he needs to know to use it.

      • mickey

        I did go to the link. It was very informative. I could never figure out why they don’t make a big deal about the reduction of lung cancer due to people quitting. lol not as long as they can keep getting all the Fed money in taxes.

        My mom had emphaseima (spelling) and never smoked a day in her life.

        • David

          Hehehehe, well have you ever noticed that all of the people you’ve known in your life, who died of natural causes (non accidental), at an early age were all major health freaks ?

          I made this statement one night while i was having dinner with the local mortician and his wife, who were good friends of mine. She got all quiet and stared at me for a couple of minutes and i finally asked her, is there something wrong ?. She said, “you know, your right, we buried them all and they were all health freaks, every one of them”

          I’m curious if anyone else here has noticed the same thing ?

  • Stars

    This isn’t about tobacco. This is about freedom.

    • David

      You’ve got it stars, one new law at a time and one less freedom with each law until there is no freedom left at all. It has to stop !, we have to make it stop !.

  • Stars

    This is a result of the government deciding it will control healthcare. Junk food is next, they must protect us from ourselves like we’re children. Like children, we need to rebel against too much control by the nanny state and put the federal government back in it’s place!

  • kathy McCann

    the drug war is a farce and has failed..there was a new law put in by Diane Feinstein of San Francisco(i think) that would increase jail time for people who put medical/regular marijuana in food such as brownies to help sick such as chemo patients…My friends dad went through hell w/ chemo side effects .the only thing that helped his WAS marijuana brownies ..Look into it and Sen.Paul Please don’t abandon your efforts to legalize hemp…new supporter..Kathy McCann

    • mickey

      Kathy, I agree there are drugs that counter drugs, but after watching my sister die of chemo–I can’t say it any nicer, I just wouldn’t take the the chemo. I watched a healthy individual go down day by day killing off her vital organs that were in perfect health. The chemo shut them all down, one day at a time. She also went into an induced coma because of the glucose she was given. Once they thought she was dying (actually being starved to death), they took her off life support (glucose included) and she came back to life.

  • David

    The Voice of Freedom !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Quoting Ron Paul from the above:
    “Why don’t we just let the people decide?”

  • Where in the Constitution allows lawmakers to twist and turn Our Rights? How do they think Our Freedom’s can be goverened? Can they chain and control an eagle?

  • I can really recommend smoking e-cigarettes to try to quit smoking! Me and my wife are trying to stop using ecigs.

    • Lay off attacking tobacco, if I want to smoke bug off.
      I’ll say this, I wasn’t going to let anyone say I’m addicted to tobacco, that’s bull. I smoke because I like it and quit on my birthday to prove I’m not addicted. Forget second hand smoke lie too. Google “second hand smoke lie” and look at the German flight attendant 10 year study.

    • mickey

      I have e-cigarettes and I do like them. I switch back and forth and find myself puffing on cigarettes like I do on the e-cigs. They really do keep the smell on clothes and furniture down. Since they put the dumb stuff in cigarettes to go out, they taste nasty. Plus ashes fall off every place. They don’t always go out either.

      Even though only water vapor is expelled, we still can’t use them in non smoking places. go figure.

  • ex-american

    Give the governing authority one inch and they’ll be sure to take a foot until you’re no longer a nuisance any longer.
    Ron Paul is a true American. He has left his crummy European roots behind and he is dearly paying for it.
    Love you Ron Paul.

  • Brian

    Maybe it’s the simple fact that no one else in Washington really cares?

    “Sure we care about you enough to ban or regulate tobacco.” While they destroy your currency via Federal Reserve secret agreements and ridiculous deficit spending.

    I could honestly care less about tobacco right now, like Dr Paul states, there are far more dangerous things or harmful things to worry about than a disgusting bad habit like tobacco.

    • David

      Brian, i couldn’t agree more, and i’ve made this same statement myself on many of the other blogs here too.

      We have far more dire and urgent problems than tobacco which will truly destroy us and remove everything from us which could possibly make life any form of worthwhile and tolerable thing if we don’t deal with them now, namely Banks. Killing them is what we have to be devoting 100 % of our time and effort to, and all other issues are of absolutely no consequence until this is done.

      Come join us on the “Sound Money” blog on this site and help us do it.

      • 100% right, Audit the Fed. Money is just grease to them, make more, spend more, spend. You can’t spend more than you have and you just can’t print more to have more. Their stealing us blind.

        • David

          Thanks Don;

          I’m just so glad that there are so many beginning to realize this by now too. I think its pretty much obvious to any thinking person by this point that thus far the American economy has existed simply and only to feed a bunch of thieves and scam artists, most of whom aren’t even Americans, who’s single and only purpose is to cheat and steal their way into establishing absolute power and ownership over this country, its industry, its resources and its population.

          Absolutely everyone with a brain has figured this out by now as they have been pushed to the point where they have had to start thinking and do so. Ron Paul has been working his ass off in order to try and start dismantling the current system, but with the power the Banks have established over our political system, it wont happen until the people themselves remove that power. I and many others have been working our asses off on here trying to put workable alternatives to the current system of theft and fraud in front of people to consider and think about, and if we can just get things like this in front of enough of them and make them realize just how easy it would be to establish an economy, a currency and credit system which would exist exclusively in service of the American people, and simply and only to facilitate useful production and services toward each and every American’s benefit, instead of simply buying power for parasites who contribute nothing to it, then i think it should also be possible to organize and motivate the mass public action we need in order to bring it about, we still can at this point too.

          As i said before everyone come and help us do this, for your own sake, for my sake and for the benefit of each and every person in America.

    • Shove your “discusting habit”. This country has tobacco leaves at the top of the Washington columns. Your mind has been twisted and you bray the current line. Your weak and easy to mold. Mind your own business seems appropriate.

      • Oops, Disgusting spelled wrong and there is no “edit” button.

  • Michal

    It’s really strange that such an obvious thing has to be explained to that bunch of… executives, who are supposed to be the nation’s elite. And what’s even more strange is the fact that they still don’t get it…