> The point is that its up to the individual themselves and not some
> arsehole in government making decisions on behalf of me. Im well capable
> of making up my own mind on such issues.
The problem with that argument (and this is just for cigarettes, not
canabis) is that the decision is not just affecting yourself. I'm not even
talking about secondary smoke. People with smoking related illnesses are a
huge burden on the health services of every country.
That report that was leaked in the Czech Replubic (or somewhere near it
anyway) confirmed a huge death toll due to smoking and many of those people
didn't just die suddenly like being hit by a bus. They would have first used
large amounts of health care resources and had lots of sick days from work,
costing huge amount of money to the government and the economy.
One might argue that the tax on cigarettes covers that expense, but there
are other things wasted that you just can't buy more of. I'm not sure
whether doctors and nurses come under this heading. Doctors are a well known
big earner, so it'd be hard to make that profession more attractive by
throwing money at it. Maybe we'd have lots more nurses if they were paid
more. Hospital beds can be bought but they're not much use without doctors
and nurses. Either way, no amount of money can cover the extra pressure put
on donor organ supply, by people who have basically self inflicted damage.
That said, as long as smoking is legal, I don't see any great extra harm in
making hash legal (and taxed too :-)
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