[FoRK] Welcome to the American Totality. You've been warned.

Owen Byrne <owen at permafrost.net> on Wed Feb 6 10:12:45 PST 2008

I'll just toss this out there - I'm mostly of the "it's gone too far" camp concerning smoking laws. 
In Nova Scotia (all of Canada?) selling smokes is severely regulated. Among other things
- you can't sell anything other than cigarettes and (apparently) lottery tickets. This resulted in grocery stores, drugstores, etc. creating these weird cigarette stores in the same building, but with separate entrances. 
- you can't display any cigarette advertising, including the packages of smokes themselves (they have to be kept in a drawer where they aren't visible to customers). So if you're a retailer trying to sell specialty tobaccos, etc, you're kinda screwed, since customers will have to have known previously of your products, or they have to guess at what you sell.

As I said, too far.


-----Original Message-----
From: "Stephen D. Williams" <sdw at lig.net>
Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2008 1:01pm
To: Friends of Rohit Khare <fork at xent.com>
Subject: Re: [FoRK] Welcome to the American Totality. You've been warned.

Jeff Bone wrote:
> ...
> Yes, but I reject the notion that your right to go wherever the hell 
> you please trumps my buddy's right to assemble with the people he 
> wants to assemble with and engage in whatever consensual and --- again 
> --- not immediately perilous behavior he and they want to engage in 
> *on his own premises.*
I for one don't have a problem with that. I think there is already an 
exception for that in certain areas, Virginia for instance, which is not 
surprising. I believe, for example, that smoke shops are completely 
exempted. There's even one in the small mall in Loudoun County.
> Nobody's answered the pertinent question that I've asked a couple of 
> times, now: does your advocacy of smoking prohibition in bars also 
> extend to smoking prohibition in *private clubs?* I.e., do you assert 
> that your rights extend to regulating what can be done by a group of 
> people who belong to a private club and operate a business that 
> services only members of that private club? How about private homes? 
> How tyrannical do you really want to be in your quest for smoking 
> "purity?"
Private club, fine. Private home, when everyone is there by choice, fine.
> Here's another one: should parents be allowed to smoke around their 
> children? I can see both sides of that argument, indeed I probably 
> come down on the side of "no" on that one. But then, I also don't 
> believe parents should be able to abuse their children
I was going to raise that point. In fact, a recent law (California?) 
makes it illegal to smoke in a vehicle with children present. Quite a 
number of us cheered on that one. Growing up in a cold climate with long 
drives to work/shopping with two parents that smoke is a very annoying 
situation that many of us dealt with.
> by way of religious indoctrination either. In neither case is the 
> child a responsible individual capable of consent to exposure to such 
> behavior.
> My point is there are reasonable compromises. But forbidding smokers 
> from banding together in private businesses that intentionally and 
> specifically cater to them is just another example of the kind of 
> small, politically-correct tyranny you see all over the place these days.
A business who's main goal is smoking makes sense and is already handled 
by some of the new laws. Every business that serves liquor doesn't. Some 
percentage that do both would be OK, but you'd have to have a quota 
system or something or everyone would be both, which pretty much was the 
> jb


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