A long time ago, while boozing in the dockside pubs in Cardiff, one of our drunken ensemble met a dreadlocked guy in the gents. When we arrived at the den of iniquity we referred to as 'the flat', he revealed that he had bought a little paper bag full of grass.
We rolled it up and lit it. He had, indeed, bought a bag of grass. As in lawn.
What could he do? Complain that he had been ripped off? The guy offered him a bag of grass and that's what he got. Report the guy for selling illegal drugs? Grass is neither illegal nor a drug. No, he had bought exactly what was on offer, it wasn't Dreadlock's problem that he was dim enough to pay over the odds for a bag of the stuff that grows between the paving slabs.
This never happened when we bought tobacco at the local shop. We bought a consistent product at a price that was high but not yet vindictive and we could smoke it in the pub too. The difference? It's the same as the difference now. Tobacco is regulated, dodgy drugs are not.
Heroin is cut with cheap crap, sometimes with dangerous cheap crap like Vim or whatever cheap white powder is available. There's no regulation. You take your chances. This doesn't happen with tobacco. You won't find it cut with nettles or dockleaves or deadly nightshade. So far, the criminals can make plenty of profit selling stuff bought legally in the EU at prices that undercut UK prices. It's branded, it's sealed, it's the same stuff you get here.
During prohibition in the USA, criminals made booze from industrial alcohol. The government responded by poisoning the industrial alcohol but the criminals didn't care. They sold it anyway and thousands died. This doesn't happen with tobacco. The government does not have access to it to poison it.
As the tobacco bans increase, more and more criminals will be involved in selling the hooky stuff. There will be competition and they will start selling zip-lock bags of 'loose tobacco' which might be cut with dried banana skins or with traffic-fume-infused dandelions collected from the roadside. The government might respond by spraying the roadside dandelions with poison. The criminals won't care.
The antismoking lunacy is not going to go away. I am normally against huge cuts in policing at a time when criminality is rife, but then I read something like this and think 'Go for it, loony woman! Slash that waste!' I mean, how do they expect to get support from the general public when we're obviously just cash cows to them? If the police are going to treat smokers like 1930's German Jews, I say cut them all. They won't come to my house if I'm burgled in case of third hand smoke and they won't help me if I'm set upon by antismokers so they are of no use to me at all. Shut the whole damn force down. I have to look after myself anyway and it won't be made any harder by removing one set of people I have to defend myself against.
There is more than one reason for growing my own tobacco. There is the risk that the increasing controls will turn Man with a Van into a 'proper' criminal who doesn't care what he's selling. I don't want to smoke tobacco cut with carpet clippings and compost. Then there is the utter contempt shown to smokers by those whose incomes depend on the extra revenue smokers pay. In that, I include the EU unelected creatures because they always get their cut, no matter where in the EU we buy it. Buying from Man with a Van means sticking two fingers up to the Cameroid and 'What? Did something happen? What?' Clegg but the EU get theirs all the same.
There is the attitude of the antismokers. All smokers are stupid and smelly and want to give their children cancer. Then they drive off in their ten-miles-to-the-gallon megacars that look like something that would be useful in Afghanistan. Their kids can breathe those fumes because diesel and petrol particulates have anti-cancer properties. Didn't you know, antismokers? The government is keeping that information from you to make you drive a Prius instead. A daily suck on your SUV exhaust and you'll live forever.
There is this comment from Stewart on a previous post:
Former Lord Provost of Glasgow, Michael Kelly (he of "Glasgow's Miles Better" fame) left a comment on my Facebook page last night - "stop defending smokers' rights. They have none."
With rights come responsibilities. If I have no rights then I have no responsibilities. If I witness a crime I have no responsibility to report it. I saw nothing. I will carry no donor card because I have no responsibility for the well being of others. If I see a child mown down on the road I have no responsibility to call an ambulance. If I am called for jury service I will press for a not guilty verdict even if I am faced with the spawn of Charles Manson and Myra Hindley and video evidence of every crime they are charged with, and they confess to it all. I have no responsibility to the law.
The antismokers will be furious. How dare I refuse to participate in the society they have excluded me from? I can't go to pubs, I can't have a coffee and a smoke in any cafe or restaurant. I can't even smoke on a railway platform in case it interferes with the life-giving properties of those diesel fumes, and the dust from a 40-wagon rake of passing coal trucks. Antismokers call for the deaths of smokers openly and with no response at all from the law and yet smokers must respect the law and aid it in any way they can. Antismokers can sneer at and spit on smokers and when they need help, smokers must rush to their aid. Antismokers can deny employment and housing to smokers and yet smokers are expected to pay UK duty on top of all the other taxes because the NHS, which won't treat smokers, needs the money to treat those who despise us.
No. I am either in or out of society. It's your choice and you cannot have it both ways. All or nothing. You have made your choice, antismokers. All I am doing is complying with that choice - and isn't compliance what you want most of all? So what's the problem?
I help out the antismokers by writing 'Handled by Smokers' on every cash note that passes through my hands so they can refuse to accept it at the tills or the bank or the cash machine. On coins, they'll just have to guess. Perhaps sniffing them would help. I help them close the pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants and certain shops and businesses by refusing to spend money in any place that has made it clear I am not welcome. I give nothing to charities in case they help an antismoker with third-hand-smoke tainted money. I encourage them to breathe deeply of the perfumed air on every high street in the land. The deeper the breath, the deeper those live-giving diesel particulates go. I am being a good guy, I am doing what the antismokers expect of me. I am complying with the image they have designed for me, I am fitting myself into their mould. What more do they want?
They want me to donate my organs? Why? They are smokers' organs, nobody wants them. They want me to help out if I witness a crime? Why? Smokers are stupid, remember? My word means nothing in court. They want me to help someone I see in distress? What, and risk getting sued for exposing them to third hand smoke? No, no, no, this won't work at all. No, the only option is to completely isolate myself from antismokers. Pay no tobacco duty because it's tainted smoker money. Write on every note to warn them I've touched it. When I next send old clothes to the charity shops, each will be indelibly marked as 'smoker clothing' and the same will be noted in books and anything else donated anywhere. It's only fair.
When I go to vote, I will go early. You'll need to ask the poll office staff which cubicle the smokers used so you don't touch the same pencil those nicotine-infused fingers handled. The staff might respond to this by designating a cubicle 'for smokers'. Just to make the game interesting, if they should ask me if I smoke I will say 'no'. Since I can't smoke in there I will not be smoking so 'no' is the correct answer.
Soon we will have the Scottish parliament elections. I am in Oily Al's constituency. He will win, that's a given, but every vote I can take from him, I will take. His campaign literature says a lot about 'helping small businesses'. I will talk to publicans, restauranteurs, cafe owners and clubs. I will give them posters if they want them. I will strike up conversations with those outside the pubs, especially when it's raining. I will give them small posters, cards and leaflets. These can be made very quickly and cheaply.
The other candidates need not feel too smug. You'll all have your own posters and leaflets because you all want the same thing. You want me excluded from society.
Well, I am. I'm growing my own so you need never again fear the taint of smoker's money in your quangos and your bin police and your 'we only treat the healthy' NHS. I'm sure you'll make growing it illegal but tobacco is nowhere near as distinctive as cannabis. You will find yourselves reporting people who are growing sprouts. I'm sure they won't mind. If you ask me, I'll tell you it's sprouts anyway and you won't know the difference.
Next I will be brewing my own booze. Before that poisoned alcohol hits the streets again.
Enjoy your society, antismokers. I'm not in it any more, I will do nothing to help it and I won't pay for it.
It's all yours.