Thursday, March 25, 2004

[Smoke On the Water Pun Here] 

This is completely insane. Californians are lunatics. Remind me to never go there.

They are successfully banning smoking everywhere outside of the home.

Much as Canada and the UK occasionally talk of "decriminalizing" marijuana, California is criminalizing tobacco.

This Lapham essay is a must-read, though it is only tangentially about smoking bans. It explains the faulty rationale behind them and the type of people they appeal to -- a nation of Barbara Bushes, not wanting to sully their "beautiful minds" with news of dead soldiers or their Beautiful Lungs with the tiniest residue of the filthy habits of vulgar people.

Well, I am a filthy, vulgar person, Santa Monica, so go ahead and ban my vices. I have no intention of visiting, which is probably in both of our best interests.

Honestly, I can't say I'm surprised by this sort of news -- it is, after all, Santa Monica -- but tying to wrap my own drug-addled mind around the justifications for it would probably destroy me. The law has no reasonable justification -- it is not a Public Health issue, it has nothing to do with pollution, the fire-safety argument is a joke... if it's about littering, they could simply enforce the littering laws as stringently as I'm sure they'll enforce this Prohibition.

But, as I said, it makes no difference to me. California and I have an understanding. We both choose to ignore each other's existence.

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