Yes, I am serious and so are they. Initiative 512 reads...
(1) It is unlawful to sell, manufacture, or possess any tobacco products including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco.
(2) A person who:
(a) Sells or manufactures any tobacco product is guilty of a class B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW; or
(b) Possesses any tobacco product is guilty of a class C felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(3) For the purposes of this section, “tobacco product” includes any product containing tobacco or nicotine that is expected or intended for human consumption.
The prohibitionists are now looking for 300,00 signatures to move Initiative 512 forward. The good news is that they have used a clumsy definition of tobacco products which includes pharmaceutical nicotine 'therapies', so the bill will meet strong opposition from Big Pharma and the various anti-smoking groups they fund.
You have to laugh at the guy who is behind this law. Dr Ed Dolan is a dentist who doesn't sound too bright (you can listen to the half-wit here). Whenever prohibitionists are looking for a handy precedent to seem less nuts, it's only a matter of time before they point to seat-belts laws. They are, after all, one of the few laws which are imposed on people for their own good.
Such a law, if it came in to existence, would likely illicit a lot of resistance from those who believe taking away their right to smoke is a violation of their civil liberties. So Dolan compares it to the seat belt law - a law that yes, infringes on civil liberties, but significantly increases the average life expectancy of someone living in Washington.
One of the main objections to seat-belt laws in the 1980s was that they would be the start of a slippery slope to banning smoking, drinking and Lord knows what else. "Nonsense!", said the campaigners, but here we are 30 years later doing just that.
Dolan does acknowledge that it treads on a slippery slope.
Dude, you're calling for the possession of tobacco to be a felony. Possession of alcohol wasn't even a felony under Prohibition. You don't need to worry about treading on the slippery slope. You hurtled down that a while ago.
When [it was] suggested that if cigarettes are outlawed, then red meat and alcohol could be next, Dolan said he's not sure about what could happen regarding health concerns and laws.
At least this numpty doesn't try to deny it. It's the next logical step, innit?