Bhutan Monk Faces Prison —for Having Tobacco

He runs afoul of strict anti-smoking law
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2011 2:22 PM CST
Smokers in Bhutan are on notice.   (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

(Newser) – Bhutan is apparently not messing around with its strict new anti-smoking rules. Cops busted a 24-year-old monk and charged him with illegally possessing tobacco, a felony that could land him in jail for 5 years. Bhutan, which aims to become the world's first smoke-free nation, bans cigarette sales in the country. Citizens can smoke privately but are limited to 200 cigarettes or 150 grams of tobacco products a month that can be imported legally, explains Reuters.

The problem is, people must produce a customs receipt to prove they got the stuff legally, and the monk didn't have one. He is the first person charged since police got expanded authority to raid homes and shops and question smokers. "He can be charged with smuggling of controlled substances, which is a fourth-degree felony," said a police official.

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