Pubdate: Wed, 17 Feb 2016
Source: Chatham Daily News, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Chatham Daily News
Author: John R. Hunt
Page: A4


A recent news story claimed that a high percentage of cigarettes sold
in Ontario are contraband. They do not generate any tax revenue for
the federal or provincial governments.

Subsequently, the OPP announced that it is forming a special team to
fight the illegal cigarette racket. This means that ordinary Ontarians
will be paying fines because they want to buy tobacco at an affordable

Governments and politicians refuse to recognize what should be
obvious. In a free society, citizens will only stand for so much
taxation and regulation. There is a breaking point. Sometimes there is

In Canada, citizens simply ignore the law. Certainly illegal tobacco
products can easily be found in many corners of the Ontario.

The OPP has been given a dirty job that will make them few friends.

Tobacco is not good for people's health. The politicians lack the
courage to ban it. Instead, they keep increasing taxes saying they are
doing it for the public good, and then dash madly away to spend the

Banning tobacco might be logical and moral, but prohibition has never
worked. In the United States, prohibition only created gangsters and
the same organized crime that is today in the cigarette black market.
Marijuana is the same story. Governments used the police and rigorous
laws to prevent people from using the weed they enjoyed. Despite
hundreds of jail sentences, a significant sector of the Canadian
public turns to the criminal fraternity to get what they want.

Today, after 60 years of prosecution, Canada has the delightful
hypocrisy of medical marijuana. The doctors did not endorse it because
of a lack of research, but public opinion forced it.

Now marijuana is to be legalized much to the annoyance of organized

Municipal officials should take notice. What applies to tobacco and
pot will also apply to municipal taxes. There comes a breaking point
when people on fixed incomes and many others will simply downsize or
move away.

There are limits in a free society to how much regulation and taxation
citizens will endure. Politicians had best recognize this or suffer
the consequences.
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