little by little all our rights are being stripped away
Damn right. It disturbs me how many big businesses/government offices try and make a living off of poor(er) people. First the big tobacco companies add niccotine (and other chemicals) to the cigarettes (mostly in the filter) to make them more addictive, then they sell us the cigarettes and the gov't keeps adding taxes on them because they know that it can be very hard for people (and remember that poorer people comprise the majority of smokers) to quit and thus they are sure to get their money. "Hey! Let's tax addicts! They won't be able to NOT pay!" Fucking disgusting abuse of power it is. But it gets worse... They, the powers in office that is, don't care about the health of poor people and see their addiction as a cash cow. When some poor sap tries to quit, if he/she tries to break the cycle of giving their money to big corporations and the tax-happy gov't what do the big tobacco companies do? They sell us gum and patches that only keep us addicted to the nicotine and make it MORE likely that we will go back to smoking (my opinion). Yes, the stop-smoking gum and patches are made by the same people that made the cigarettes...they are cashing in on both ends.
And then we get ticketed and fined for smoking in a venue. I realize you may not have been talking about just tobacco in this thread, but even with ganja the gov't sees a group of people that likes to smoke and thinks "Hmmm, how can we shake these people down for a little more money?"
Face it. When a group of heads get together the government sees a chance to make a buck. They don't that you aren;t harming anyone. They probably prefer that you WERE harming someone bc that's more profitable. What good are you to their bottom line if you're just standing there, minding your own business, harming no one, having a smoke?