I always wind up back at the concept of limited government. It was core to the discussions in Independence Hall in Philadelphia when the Founding Fathers were debating the format and powers of our new national government. There were certain functions that a national government needed to do and while they were important, they also were limited in range. The obvious included defending the nation from attack, coining a standardized currency, operating a postal system and adjudicating disputes which bridged state boundaries.
Now we find the oppressive hand of the federal government everywhere. For fifteen years now I have asked my government classes to name any aspect of society which the federal government is not involved in. To date I haven't found one.
Here is a great example:
Transportation Bill Harbors Micro-Business Poison Pill
What does that little business have to do with transportation? Really a tough linkage to find.
No, I'm not about to encourage cigarette smoking. Never did it myself although I find it amazing that I avoided it considering that I grew up in the time when absolutely everyone smoked from Bogey and Bacall to mom, dad and all of my peers. I'm amazed today that people still fall into the addiction with all that is known about it. Treated like a pariah, taxed at a ludicrous level, creating a pathetic dependence, saturating the individual in a noxious stench and topping it all off with a miserable death. Yet, they still do it. None of my business though.
What's going on with roll-your-own shops? Who do they hurt? Follow the money.
Government purportedly discourages smoking, yet they subsidize tobacco growing. They levy huge "sin" taxes to stifle the practice, comfortable in the knowledge that an addiction can't be corrected with a few bucks worth of penalty. Most importantly, the controllers of the subsidies, the legislation, the taxation, the distribution, are all in the funding thrall of the major cigarette producers.
ROY shops are a canary in the coal-mine. They side-step a tax, offer a possibly less-toxic and more tailored product for the user, and do so at half the cost of the big boys. That is a free enterprise option that cannot be allowed to stand. If people were to see the advantages of such a lower-cost option for their addiction it would really jostle some well-established apple-carts.