Smoke a Cigarette, Go to Jail: That's The Plan One Oregon Lawmaker Is Cooking Up

When cigarettes are outlawed, only outlaws will have cigarettes. And that could prove a real drag for dedicated smokers, at least in Oregon.

Here's the skinny: A veteran Oregon lawmaker is proposing legislation that would make cigarettes a Schedule III controlled substance (like lysergic acid and anabolic steroids), which means it would be illegal to walk around with a pack of Marlboro Lights in your pocket. And if you give one to your smoke-bumming buddy, that too would be illegal. Get caught with a Camel, and you're looking at up to a year in the slammer, a $6,250 fine -- or both!

But here's our favorite part of Rep. Mitch Greenlick's bill (click here to read it in its entirety):

If you went out and got a doctor's prescription to smoke yourself silly, then you are in the clear.

Which, of course, begs question -- what kind of maniac doctor would say, "Feeling a little put out without your nicotine? No problem. Here you go, take this down to your pharmacist and he'll set you up with a few cartons of American Spirits."

Rep. Mitch Greenlick: The man who would like to put you in jail for smoking -- without a doctor's prescription
Greenlick, a Portland Democrat, is no legislative backbencher. The 77-year-old solon has been striding the halls of Salem's capitol for a decade and co-chairs the House Health Care Committee. He is also the director and founder of Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research Foundation Hospitals.

Greenlick is vacationing in New York, his legislative assistant, Autumn Shreve, informed us yesterday, and was unavailable to discuss his anti-smoking measure, which the Oregon Legislature may or may not address when its session convenes Feb. 4.

But Shreve did volunteer that her boss dropped a similar bill in 2011 and it went nowhere, "and he doesn't think this one is going anywhere, either."

A pity, don't you think.

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