“But officer, I’ve got a karmic recommendation for this tobacco!”

In case you thought the U.S. was the only country with nutty drug laws…

This just in from Reuters. Bhutan police raid homes to stub out smoking habit.

According to the article, Bhutan anti-tobacco cops are now training a special tobacco-sniffing dog to crack down on illegal tobacco use. Smokers in that country are limited to 200 cigarettes or 150 grams of other tobacco products. Since sales are illegal, all tobacco must be imported and smokers must show customs papers if challenged by police. While all that will sound more than a little bit familiar to U.S. pot smokers, the big difference is that in Buddhist Bhutan, smoking is considered damaging to one’s karma.

Not sure which is worse: smoking a joint in the U.S. and risking a criminal rap, or smoking a cigarette in Bhutan and risking a karmic rap. Either way, it is comforting to know the governments of the world are looking out for our best interests. As Bhutan moves to further implement their 2005 smoke-free laws, it won’t surprise me if certain monks develop a profitable industry out of giving karma credits for the use of tobacco. “Well, since in a past life, you died while saving a child from a fire, I think you’ve got karma to burn along with your tobacco. I’ll give you this recommendation for tobacco use. That will be 9,041 ngultrums. Cash only.”

I wonder if they’ll borrow the playbook from U.S. drug interdiction cops and start doing pretext stops on the roadways in Bhutan: “I pulled you over because you seemed to be swerving in the road. I smell the distinct odor of tobacco, so I’m going to do a search. Please step down off of the horse cart.”

In the meantime, Montana’s Republican legislators just voted to overturn that state’s medical marijuana ordinance, though it has yet to be signed by the Democratic governor. The irony here is that if the U.S. government tried to pass or enforce Bhutan-esque anti-tobacco laws, you can bet these same anti-pot legislators would be screaming bloody murder about government interference in personal lives.