The Biden campaign may be in for a rocky road ahead as it continues to push a ban on all menthol cigarettes – which experts say will alienate the black vote against him and surge crime nationwide.
Retired New York State Police officer Elliot Boyce told DailyMail.com that there are many ‘unintended consequences’ of Biden’s decision to ban the cigarettes.
Those include an increase in black market trafficking, cartel and gang violence and unregulated cigarettes – which could be laced with dangerous drugs, including fentanyl.
‘The cigarettes are going to be coming from China, and we’ll have no idea what’s in them,’ he continued.
And it will impact minority communities the most, because menthols are smoked predominantly by black and Latino communities – at over 80 percent, he said.
A national Republican strategist told DailyMail.com that the issue is likely to hit Biden hard with black voters in 2024
‘You’ll have grandmothers going into the communities and buying them out of the trunk of someone’s vehicle,’ he continued. ‘And that’s gonna be a problem.’
In addition, when cartels start establishing illegal menthol rings, they’ll be ‘shooting each other and violence will increase.’
‘Understand drug dealers want the same thing as you want. They want to move on up and they may be in your neighborhood next,’ he warned.
Boyce said that the Biden administration did not bring in any police groups to weigh in on its decision, which isn’t right because the ban will be an ‘increased strain’ on law enforcement.
Police officers are already working with limited budgets and frankly don’t want to have to deal with the criminalization of menthol said Boyce, who spent 33 years in law enforcement.
Cato Institute fellow Jeffrey Singer agrees that the unintended consequences of the menthol ban could be detrimental.
He wrote in a report published on October 17 that the ban means ‘more business opportunities for purveyors of black market products — ranging from illicit drugs to cigars and cigarettes.’
‘And if history teaches us anything, we can expect to witness many harmful unintended consequences,’ he continued.
While the ban on menthol cigarettes is moving forward, at the same time the Biden administration is exploring decriminalizing marijuana nationally.
Over the summer, Biden asked the DEA to downgrade marijuana laws ahead of the 2024 election – despite slamming cannabis as a ‘gateway drug’ as recently as 2019.
As a Schedule I controlled substance, marijuana is in the same class as heroin, ecstasy and LSD. Drugs in this class are deemed to have a high likelihood of abuse and no medical uses.
The Schedule III designation the Biden administration is pushing for would put it in the same category as anabolic steroids, testosterone and ketamine, which are considered to have ‘moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.’ It wouldn’t be legal nationwide unless it is completely declassified.
A national Republican strategist told DailyMail.com that the menthol ban specifically is likely to hit Biden hard with black voters in 2024.
‘It is surprising that Joe Biden is so overtly targeting Black smokers with a menthol ban,’ he said.
‘Polls already show Black voters aren’t excited to back Biden in 2024, and this could depress his base even more. It would not surprise me if President Trump or another Republican candidate used this as a wedge issue to hammer Joe Biden.’
Republicans in the senate have already criticized Biden on the ban.
‘Biden’s ridiculous ban on menthols will have wide-ranging consequences, including providing cartels with another opportunity to profit from our porous border,’ Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., wrote on X.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., added: ‘As Biden’s FDA moves to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, a reminder that criminal gangs in Mexico are seeking to exploit black market opportunities.’
Over the summer, Biden asked the DEA to downgrade marijuana laws ahead of the 2024 election
However, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer has yet to comment on the ban – and his state of New York would be hit hard economically since it has the highest taxes in the nation on cigarettes.
The Biden administration has maintained that the criminalization of menthols would help Americans become less addicted over time.
‘The proposed rules would help prevent children from becoming the next generation of smokers and help adult smokers quit,’ HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra previously said.
‘Additionally, the proposed rules represent an important step to advance health equity by significantly reducing tobacco-related health disparities,’ he continued.
However, Boyce and other law enforcement officials say that menthol addiction could be addressed better through education, treatment and counseling.
‘This is truly a problem for everyone,’ he continued.