It’s an early step of the ugly political process that may ultimately expand nicotine prohibition up to age 21 in Keene, New Hampshire. As sadly expected, the full city council voted 12-2 last night to order city staff to write up a new ordinance prohibiting the sale and possession of nicotine-related products for under 21s within the arbitrary geographic area known as Keene.
Several councilors spoke with the majority using the spectre of children using nicotine and how dangerous and addictive the chemical is to justify voting in favor of moving ahead with writing the ban, ignoring all the historic evidence of the failure of prohibition. One councilor, Mitch Greenwald, even voted with the majority despite bizarrely acknowledging in his remarks that prohibition hasn’t worked.
Prohibition is a tactic based on aggressive force against peaceful people that has created terrible unintended consequences each time in history it’s been tried. This time won’t be any different. The council will push legal sales outside the city limits and encourage police to harass even more young people than ever before. Tickets will be written just like they are constantly for underage alcohol possession. The tickets will obediently be paid, and the person who got caught will try to be more careful and not be discovered in the future. Oh, and black market sales to 18-20 year olds will expand in Keene.
It was refreshing to see a couple of politicians stand up against the insanity, including both of Ward 4’s councilors, Margaret Rice and Bob Sutherland who not only voted against crafting the ban, but spoke against it. Rice eloquently said, in her speech to the council:
“It’s not my role to tell somebody what they can and cannot do with their own body, provided that they’re not harming anybody else.”
Sadly, not only does the supermajority of the council think it’s their role, but they’re willing to use violence to get people to behave how they want. Statism is sick and immoral.
Next, the city staff will write the ordinance and then return it to the council’s MSFI committee for another public hearing, where at that point the politicians will argue over just what the ban should say. It’s gonna get worse from here. Unless we can get more libertarians to move to Keene as part of the NH Freedom Migration or somehow stop it from the state level by removing the authority of towns to craft more restricting regulations.
Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this expansion of the failed War on Drugs.