Prohibition in Bhutan

June 28th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Christoper Snowden writes how in 2005 Bhutan banned sales:

Bhutan’s government enforced the tobacco ban with remorseless vigour using the full apparatus of a despotic state. Nevertheless, a 2011 study found a thriving black market and widespread tobacco use in all its forms.

Prohibition failed with alcohol. It has failed with drugs. It has failed for several thousand years with prostitution. Yet some people think prohibition will succeed with tobacco!

The PM of Bhutan said in 2012:

the simple fact that prohibition has never worked and will not work. That’s why a black market quickly (and effectively) established itself in spite of the draconian provisions of the existing Act. That’s why, in the year since the Tobacco Control Act came into effect, many people took their chances despite the stiff sentences in it. Of the many, 84 people got caught. And of them, 39 people have already been sent to jail. 

So they jailed people for selling tobacco, yet it still didn’t work.

Bhutan’s second parliament is likely to set the history of ‘ban lift’ as it takes steps to do so one after another. Very recently the country lifted ban on import of furniture [!!! - CJS] and alcohol.
Now the country’s Upper House resolves that ban on import of tobacco must end. In a majority resolution on Monday (3 February 2014), the house said ban on import and sale of tobacco products must end to control the black market.
They tried prohibition. It failed. yet in NZ public health advocates say we should ban sugar, ban pies, ban sodas over a certain size, ban RTDs etc.
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27 Responses to “Prohibition in Bhutan”

  1. Tarquin North (254 comments) says:

    We should send Tariana over to give them a hand. Trying to stop smoking is pretty much the only thing she’s ever done.

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  2. Nukuleka (297 comments) says:

    You bang on about the ‘prohibition’ of sugar and tobacco as though this is comparable to the banning of lethal drugs. It is not. Drugs kill; drugs wreck people’s lives; drugs undermine people’s ability to hold down jobs and lead productive lives. I doubt that you are a parent and it seems to me that you have no concern whatsoever about protecting young people from the appalling effects of drug use and addiction.

    Fortunately we currently have a sensible government that does recognise these harmful effects of illegal drugs and which has given no intention of changing the current law. Were there any notion that they were to be following your wacky views, DPF, they would no longer be getting my vote.

    I abhor the way that liberals such as you have hijacked the term ‘prohibition’.

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  3. gump (1,617 comments) says:

    @DPF

    “yet in NZ public health advocates say we should ban sugar, ban pies, ban sodas over a certain size, ban RTDs etc.”

    —————————

    Actually, most public health advocates say we should regulate those items. Regulation is not the same thing as banning.

    I personally think some level of regulation is sensible. For example, most of the alcohol retailers in the Auckland CBD follow a code of compliance that doesn’t permit them to sell RTD drinks individually (at the request of the police).

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  4. JMS (317 comments) says:

    I doubt that you are a parent and it seems to me that you have no concern whatsoever about protecting young people from the appalling effects of drug use and addiction.

    Typical of many parents. They want to offload their parenting responsibilities onto the nanny state.

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  5. Jaffa (85 comments) says:

    I think we should ban public health advocates!!

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  6. Nukuleka (297 comments) says:

    JMS: ‘Typical of many parents. They want to offload their parenting responsibilities onto the nanny state.’

    What is this meant to mean? Do you advocate that the state has a total free-for-all policy on the availability of drugs and that it ought to then be the responsibility of the parents to ensure that, for their own welfare, the children don’t access them? Really?

    That’s akin to having no speed limits on our roads and leaving it over to parents to ensure that their children never drive over 50 kms in a built up area.

    Yea, bring it on!

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  7. JMS (317 comments) says:

    That’s akin to having no speed limits on our roads and leaving it over to parents to ensure that their children never drive over 50 kms in a built up area.

    No it’s not akin to that. By driving too fast in built up areas, others are being put at risk by that action.

    If your child smokes a joint or snorts a line of cocaine, that in itself is not putting others at risk.

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  8. Scott1 (506 comments) says:

    I don’t think many people don’t support banning sugar, pies or sodas over a certain size or RTDs (unless they haven’t really thought about what that means).

    What you might be able to defend is placing some sort of restriction or disincentive like we have with cigarettes. A tax or a restriction on advertising, or a restriction of where it can be sold etc.

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  9. Nukuleka (297 comments) says:

    JMS:

    Drug use and drug addiction cause risk for all who are associated with the user/ abuser/ addict- ie parents, children, partners, employers, community, society. Don’t be naïve.

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  10. nasska (11,154 comments) says:

    Unlike alcohol Nukuleka?

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  11. JMS (317 comments) says:

    Drug use and drug addiction cause risk for all who are associated with the user/ abuser/ addict- ie parents, children, partners, employers, community, society. Don’t be naïve.

    That same flawed argument used by conservatives is now also being used by progressives wanting to control their pet hates, like gambling and fatty foods.

    Of course excessive drug use can lead to harm, so can excessive gambling.

    If somebody under the influence of intoxicating substances harms somebody else, punish them, if not, leave them alone.

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  12. FeralScrote (191 comments) says:

    Lets Ban It,it`s the socialist mantra and universal cure all to societies issues ,especially the personal choice ones.

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  13. Nukuleka (297 comments) says:

    JMS: what is your definition of ‘harm’? Mine includes not turning up for work; turning up for work but not doing a competent day’s work; failing to provide a living for your family and therefore relying on state-funded welfare… Each and more are the ‘harmful’ effects of drug use. And you believe that such ‘harm’ only effects the drug user? And you are going to ‘punish’ the drug user in such circumstances, are you?

    As I say, thank heavens the current National government doesn’t share your views.

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  14. wat dabney (3,758 comments) says:

    Like Global Warming or the claim that women get paid less than men, advocates of prohibition don’t actually care about the merits of the argument. It is simply a pretext to increase the coercive power of the state over the individual.

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  15. hj (6,836 comments) says:

    The alcohol industry should pay for the externalities it is irresponsible for (glass in face etc).

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  16. hj (6,836 comments) says:

    wat dabney
    Like Global Warming or the claim that women get paid less than men, advocates of prohibition don’t actually care about the merits of the argument. It is simply a pretext to increase the coercive power of the state over the individual.
    ……
    90,000 unaccompanied children crossing US Border from Mexico.

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  17. JMS (317 comments) says:

    Nukuleka,

    as I said before, if the drug user commits a crime against somebody, charge him.
    If he turns up late for work, fire him.
    If he spends his benefit money on drugs/smokes/booze/pokies instead of on his children, either cut the benefit or change to food stamps.

    But if somebody smokes a joint or snorts a line in their own home, it’s none of your business.

    As I say, thank heavens the current National government doesn’t share your views.

    The gangs would agree whole-heartedly with you!

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  18. calendar girl (1,214 comments) says:

    “They tried prohibition. It failed. yet in NZ public health advocates say we should ban sugar, ban pies, ban sodas over a certain size, ban RTDs etc.”

    They may say that, DPF, but don’t take their words too literally. It’s just a softening-up tactic that they know won’t get wide-enough acceptance.

    Their real target is not prohibition, DPF, it’s actually your money and mine. And lots of it, in the form of additional taxes levied on the products they criticise. They have succeeded in taxing alcohol and tobacco beyond those products’ calculated harm to users and society, and they spend the additional income on whatever new social projects take their fancy. The same will happen in the fullness of time with Coca Cola and Big Macs (examples only). The social engineers will criticise such products endlessly, supposedly seeking to ban them from sale. But their true objective is to achieve special, additional taxes on the products as a fall-back “solution” when they can’t achieve prohibition, creating new streams of government income the spending of which will require no testing justification.

    It’s all part of growing the power of the state, punishing the individual for his or her own personal choices and decisions, and giving a free fiscal pass to the faceless bureaucrats in Wellington who have long lists of additional pet projects just waiting for “funding”. Don’t let them fool you with their clarion calls, purporting to save citizens from consumption of the evil products of big business. As usual, if you want truth, just follow the money.

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  19. Harriet (4,777 comments) says:

    “………They tried prohibition. It failed. yet in NZ public health advocates say we should ban sugar, ban pies, ban sodas over a certain size, ban RTDs etc…….”

    Key is another of these nutters ” NZ – smoke free by 2025.”

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  20. ross411 (529 comments) says:

    Nukuleka (148 comments) says:
    June 28th, 2014 at 11:27 am
    You bang on about the ‘prohibition’ of sugar and tobacco as though this is comparable to the banning of lethal drugs. It is not. Drugs kill; drugs wreck people’s lives; drugs undermine people’s ability to hold down jobs and lead productive lives. I doubt that you are a parent and it seems to me that you have no concern whatsoever about protecting young people from the appalling effects of drug use and addiction.

    Fortunately we currently have a sensible government that does recognise these harmful effects of illegal drugs and which has given no intention of changing the current law. Were there any notion that they were to be following your wacky views, DPF, they would no longer be getting my vote.

    I abhor the way that liberals such as you have hijacked the term ‘prohibition’.

    I abhor the way that indoctrinated shills like you have hijacked the term ‘drug’.

    Alcohol is a drug. There are prescription drugs that are addictive and causing harm. Yet, illegal drugs are somehow the ones you glom onto. How many people die from alcohol a year, a drug you implicitly condone and as a parent! Compared to how many people die from marijuana a year. Or even compared to heroine or cocaine in New Zealand.

    You are an irresponsible parent, assuming you even are one. You should be advocating responsible use of drugs, not glomming onto a cause that exists as a whole ‘illegal drugs’ because it has been made so as political currency.

    Grow up. And no, I do not do illegal drugs, nor have I ever except passively and unwillingly. I doubt you can say the same.

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  21. Rex Widerstrom (5,346 comments) says:

    calendar girl says:

    It’s all part of growing the power of the state, punishing the individual for his or her own personal choices and decisions, and giving a free fiscal pass to the faceless bureaucrats in Wellington who have long lists of additional pet projects just waiting for “funding”.

    Well said. I wonder if anyone has ever done any analysis of the effect on government revenues if all “punishment taxes” (and in this I include speeding fines, which should be spent solely on road safety if the mantra of ‘we’re only trying to save lives’ isn’t a hollow lie) were stopped?

    Exactly how much profit is there in restricting our freedom and then making us pay the price?

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  22. Harriet (4,777 comments) says:

    Calendar girl#

    “…..Their real target is not prohibition, DPF, it’s actually your money and mine. And lots of it, in the form of additional taxes levied on the products they criticise…..”

    If they bring in fat tax then we’ll bring in a HOMO & HETRO TAX !

    If you get a sexual disease then you pay the cost at the specialists – just like you do at the dentists.

    Promote the idea that ‘hypersexuals’ should pay for their own sexual health, in the same way that people have to pay for their own dentistry when they are irresponsable with their oral care; pay as you go.

    Pay as you go restrains people from excesses, and will stop the likes of some homosexuals billing an entire lifestyle up to the tax payer. Smokers and drinkers arn’t allowed to do that.

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  23. Viking2 (11,367 comments) says:

    Sex is like a drug. Its addictive and you can never get enough of it. So we shall ban sex.

    The inhabitants of this world are getting more stupid daily.

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  24. Harriet (4,777 comments) says:

    Viking 2#

    Im not saying this from a religious viewpoint but as a tax payer:

    No one is saying that sex should be banned – they are saying instead that people are expected to be responsable with their sexual health – as National/Taxpayers invest millions into sexual education and billions into the public health system.

    We have restraints on learner drivers, restraints on drinkers, and restraints on smokers, with talk of restraint on eaters. We also have restraints on oral health: A pay as you go private dental market.

    With advanced medicine and health ‘professionals’ there is no reason that a PAYG sexual health market not be introduced to NZ, as sex is just another choice – as both people have to agree to a proposal of sex, as it’s the law. There have always been restraints placed on peoples sexual behaviour by the law. This is nothing new.

    You can’t be irresponsable and have sexual relations with several partners givern how easily that disease ect is spread in this way.

    Drinking in excess doesn’t spread disease[other than being a bad influence on children]. Neither does smoking[passive maybe]. But these are insignificant to the rates that irresponsable sexual behaviour spreads poor health.

    Kiwi beer drinkers should not be proping up the lifestyle choices of bludging hypersexuals. :cool:

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  25. nasska (11,154 comments) says:

    Harriet….you are truly, stark-raving, painting your shit on the walls mad! :)

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  26. IC5000 (104 comments) says:

    Of course these things shouldn’t be banned. If white middle class NZ can’t look down on an underclass underclass characterised by obesity , diabetes and all manner of self-inflicted ‘lifestyle’ diseases then they’ll have to do it on the basis of race. Can’t have that can we?

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  27. Disaster Area (41 comments) says:

    Personally I have no wish to ban anything, however the numbers of people who are suffering, and are predicted to suffer from diabetes is alarming. This has the potential to cost the health system a lot of money and thus the taxpayer a lot of money.

    I don’t think that anybody alive today seriously doubts the health implications of smoking. Yet smokers still expect to be treated for those consequences. Who pays? Well, the frequently used argument is that a smoker pays in taxes more than the cost of their treatment. Why not expect people who consume sugary foods and fried fast foods to do the same?

    The issue is that sugar is so widespread and fast food so cheap that it would affect everyone. Would I increase taxes on sugar laden food and takeaways? Yes. But, I would also reduce taxes on fresh fruit and vegetables. If you choose to eat sugar filled rubbish and takeaways you’ll pay more, just as the more alcohol or tobacco you consume you pay more. Is this ‘nanny state’ behaviour? Yes in the same way that taxing alcohol or tobacco is. You have the right to eat and drink what you like. What you don’t have the right to do is to expect that choice to be consequence (or cost) free.

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