'It's Almost Becoming a Better Market Than Drugs'


California's experiment with tobacco prohibition, which so far is confined to the state's correctional institutions, has had exactly the results you'd expect: skyrocketing prices (up to $125 a pack), widespread smuggling, official corruption, and black market violence. The Drug Policy Alliance's Tony Newman notes that he (along with everyone who has ever taken an economics course) saw this coming. Time for another prediction: How will California respond to the black market it has created? Will it a) repeal the ban, b) crack down on smuggling and increase penalties for tobacco possession, or c) extend the ban to the rest of the state?