Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oregon State Rep. Mitch Greenlink Wants To Make Cigarettes Available By Prescription Only, And Yes, He's A Democrat From Portland

An Oregon state lawmaker wants to make cigarettes available by prescription only, and to no one's surprise, he's a Democrat from Portland. Oregon Catalyst actually warned the public about this back in September 2012.

Rep. Merwyn R. "Mitch" Greenlick, who represents House District 33, filed HB 2077 on January 14th, 2013, which would effectively make nicotine a Schedule III controlled substance, meaning it would be illegal to possess or distribute cigarettes without a doctor's prescription. Specifically, HB 2077 would enable the following:

-- Directs State Board of Pharmacy to adopt rules making nicotine Schedule III controlled substance. Provides for phase-in of penalties by board.
-- Creates crime of unlawful possession of nicotine, effective until rules adopted. Punishes by maximum of one year's imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both.
-- Creates crime of unlawful distribution of nicotine, effective until rules adopted. Punishes by maximum of one year's imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both.

Elsewhere in the text, the bill defines the quantitative possession threshold as 0.1 milligrams or more of nicotine. The bill was referred to the judiciary committee on January 22nd. Depending upon the rules eventually developed by the State Board of Pharmacy, it appears that any product that delivers nicotine could require a doctor's prescription, to include e-cigarettes and even various nicotine substitutes currently available over the counter, like patches, gum, and lozenges. But that's not all. Read through the text and you'll find a host of additional restrictions in its wake. Here's a YouTube video of a local media report:

This is not the first time Rep. Greenlick, who is 78 years old and weighs 275 lbs., has advocated this measure; in 2009, he tried and failed to get a similar bill passed. Local radio personality Jayne Carroll took him to task in the Oregonian, suggesting that if doctors got into the business of authorizing smoking, physicians' medical liability insurance could skyrocket if patients could legally claim their smoking use was doctor approved. And those increased costs would be passed on to us, the consumers.

According to this comment in the Oregonian, Greenlick has been involved in a host of other intrusive nanny-state legislation. He's co-sponsored Senate Bill 444, which would outlaw smoking in cars, Senate Bill 346, which would outlaw transferring large capacity magazines, and is the primary sponsor of House Bill 2331, a statewide soda tax. Greenlick also wrote Oregon's version of the racist Rozelle Rule, which requires Oregon's public universities to interview at least one qualified minority candidate before hiring a head coach in any sport. One commenter provided this snapshot of Greenlick:

Dunkleosteus January 23rd 3:30 P.M:
Greenlick represents a nearly albino-white upper income gentry district. There are twenty times as many Mercedes owners as African Americans living there. The average home lists for two or times as much as the average home in any of Portland's heavily African American districts. Greenlick is the perfect example of the limousine liberal mouthpiece afflicted with white guilt posed to appease his district. The day I see Greenlick or his hypocritical constituency demand their own neighborhood be as integrated as he demands of places far beyond his responsibility or purview, I'll take his complaint more seriously than the clucking of a chicken.

Judging by the other negative comments about Greenlick, including those on Stormfront, his nicotine measure not only has little chance of passing in the House, but may not even get out of committee. Greenlick himself admitted to Willamette Week that the bill is unlikely to pass, but that he's using it to enhance the probability of an increase in the cigarette tax. But Rep. Greenlick illustrates how Portland actually is a cancer growing on the body politic of Oregon; many Oregonians insist on a host of online forums that Portland is not representative of Oregon in general.

Unfortunately, Portland, being the state's largest city, gets the lion's share of public attention. Perhaps at 275 lbs, Greenlick ought to direct his attention first at his own health; dropping about three or four stone (one stone = 14 lbs) would benefit him and prolong his life.


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