It's hard to argue that cigarettes are good for you. But should getting your hands on a cancer stick really land you behind bars? That's the apparent dream of Oregon Rep. Mitch Greenlick, whose latest proposed bill would make cigarettes a Schedule III controlled substance (like LSD and steroids), meaning that it would be illegal to possess or distribute them without a doctor's prescription. Those who get caught under this proposal would suffer a fine of $6,250 and/or up to a year in prison.
Sure, the law may sound extreme — especially coming from a state that nearly legalized recreational marijuana a few months ago — but don't start hoarding your smokes just yet. Even Rep. Greenlick is admittedly skeptical about the bill's future. It's almost certain to go down in flames at the hands of tobacco lobbyists. The bill is more likely a symbolic act: Greenlick hopes that the inevitable death of his bill will at least bolster the possibility of passing a less-extreme anti-smoking bill, which would seek to tax cigarettes. And that's probably for the best, says Ellis E. Conklin at Seattle Weekly. After all, what kind of doctor is going to say, "'Here you go, take this down to your pharmacist and he'll set you up with a few cartons of American Spirits'?"