By Bob Tate
PipesMagazine.com has just become aware, by way of the Orlando Sentinel, that Florida Democratic Rep. Darryl Rouson has filed a bill to introduce a tax on tobacco pipes in Florida. He claims that he is targeting ‘other’ types of pipes that are used for smoking illegal substances, but we all know where this is going to lead. The proposed new tax (surtax) that will be introduced is a staggering 25%! That is 25% on top of all of the other sales taxes and use taxes that are already in place!
Mr. Rouson says, and I quote,
“We all know the head shops, gas stations, and novelty stores in Florida are selling drug paraphernalia under the charade of being “tobacco pipes,'” Rouson said in a press release for HB 187. “If these items are to be available to the citizens of Florida, then we should charge a surtax on these consumers who are obviously using the pipes to do drugs.”
But according to his proposed bill (there is an excerpt from the bill as well as a link to the bill at the end of the article) it says that it includes all pipes regardless of whether they are sold for legal purposes or in violation of the law. That is a nice piece of double talk and contradiction, wouldn’t you say?
They are already trying to do something similar in Washington D.C. with cigars. They are trying to ban the sale of single cigars because a lot of drug users buy cheap cigars and smoke marijuana in them. Anyone who smokes premium cigars know that you can not empty out the tobacco in a premium cigar and re-fill it with marijuana. You can only do that with the cheap drug store blends.
Are these government officials really that ignorant and naïve to think that people will not find another way to smoke illegal drugs even if they don’t buy their “blunts” and “pipes”? Or is it something deeper? If all of this is really about drugs, then why didn’t they introduce any of these “solutions” during the big and failed “War on Drugs” in the 1980’s?
I do not believe for one second that any of these new “Illegal Drug Solutions” are really to prevent people from using drugs. I think they are using drugs as an excuse to raise taxes on the other forms of smokable tobaccos that are not cigarettes, like pipes and cigars. This has to stop! And we have to raise our voices collectively to make them listen!
If you live in Florida, call your representative and tell them that you don’t agree with this proposed new tax. Tell them that it will not curb illegal drug use at all. Tell them that they need to stop punishing the law abiding citizens with these outrageous and frivolous taxes! Tell them that you are tired of being taxed to death and having all of your rights slowly taken away! Tell them that you have had enough!
We must stop this in its tracks right now because if we don’t, it will snowball and other states will follow suit and it will be just like every other anti tobacco law and tax that has been imposed on us and once it starts rolling, it will be too late to stop it.
According to the actual proposed bill:
Section 1. Section 212.05995, Florida Statutes, is created to read:
212.05995 Special provisions; smoking pipes and devices.
(1) A surtax at the rate of 25 percent is charged on the sales price of any of the following items, regardless of whether such items are sold for legal purposes or in violation of the law:
(a) Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic smoking pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, or punctured metal bowls.
Here is the link from the article in the Orlando Sentinel:
Rouson Wants To Tax “Tobacco Pipes”
Here is a link to the proposed bill:
Bill 212.05995 – New Tax On Pipes