Are Cigarettes the New Joints? Get Ready for Homegrown Tobacco

High cigarette taxes fuel a surging black market in smuggled cigarettes, notes Americans for Tax Reform's Patrick Gleason in the Wall Street Journal. New York smokers are the greatest beneficiaries of that black market, burdened as they are with the most ridiculous cigarette taxes in the country. There's a huge flow of smuggled smokes from relatively low-tax states like Virginia. And some smokers are turning to an alternative to which marijuana fanciers facing legal pressures of their own have resorted for decades: growing their own.

High tobacco taxes result from muddled policy goals implemented with the special incompetence that government officials bring to every task they undertake. Politicians simultaneously want to maximize revenue and raise taxes so high that they discourage once-again (this is an historical cycle) socially unacceptable tobacco consumption. Those are not compatible goals. What officials accomplish, instead, is a bonanza of unintended consequences. Notes Gleason:

Washington, D.C., experienced this

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