Friday, December 23, 2005

Freedom? Yeah Right!

Did you out-of-staters know that here in Washington State, voters have voted to ban indoor smoking, making our granolafied state the most intolerant state in the union towards smokers? This new law means that puffers can not smoke in bars or coffee shops and not only that, but must be at least twenty five feet from a door. In other words, in the middle of the street, dodging those smog farting SUVs.

I realize smokers aren't the most popular demographic out there but it isn't really the smoking part that gets me about this law, though I am crushed that I'll no longer be able to spend late nights at the Horse Shoe Cafe drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. No, I'm more shocked that voters feel they can tell business owners how to run their own shop. How un-American can we get!

On today's front page in the Bellingham Herald, there is an article about one business owner who refuses to have his rights taken away. Abel Jordan, the owner of Casa Que Pasa, a popular tequila bar and burrito joint here in town, is allowing smoking at his restaurant. He says he looks forward to fighting his one hundred dollar ticket in court. He says about his restaurant: "Ultimately, it's private property, if you don't want to come into my smoking bar, don't come in."

People making their own choices? My God, what a concept. Do you think we are capable of such a feat, Washingtonians? God bless you, Mr. Jordan. Tell me when and where and I'll be there with my flaming torch and pitch fork.


Jessi said...

Preach it!

Michael said...

As a former smoker, I completely agree. If I don't wanna be around the smoke, I can go somewhere else. It should be the individual's choice over if smoking is allowed or not.

There's no smoking in my house, and none in my car since I became a quitter. People respect that, as I don't smoke. If I'm in someone elses house or car, and they smoke, I expect them to light up at the same frequency as they would if I wasn't there. Its not a big deal to me.

one good side effect: when me and my friends go out, 90% of the time I'm a passanger since my car has the smoking ban.

noell said...

i thought you'd quit smoking... guess i should get online more often to stay up to date on my blogging friends' lives...

i'm sorry you're so upset by this... as a nonsmoker, who hate smelling like stale smoke and breathing other people's second hand smoke, i'm glad there are some smoke free places out there... cause you and mr t talk about going somewhere else, but the truth is, those somewhere elses are kind of non existent, i mean, i get what you're saying, but before, well, what bars and or diners were smoke free? it forced all non smokers to feel like smokers if they wanted to go out for drinks or pancakes and a few eggs sunny side up at three in the morning... i dunno... i figure there must be some type of compromise, but i don't know what it is...

and honestly, i'd rather you just all quit because i saw the body works exhibit in chicago and it was full of black lungs and it saddens me to think of my blogging soul mate's lungs filling with tar. it saddens me to think of that happening to anyone. it's funny how many things we have in the world that just really screw up our beautiful and wonderous bodies.

sorry i just went off on a tangent matt. i still hang out with smokers. everyone i ever loved happened to be a smoker. and i'll let folks smoke in their regular ways as long as it isn't in my house or car. but i still worry. it's my personality, it's what i do.

Bex said...

This is such an interesting topic. Washington is not the first State to go non-smoking indoors. CA has been for a while now. I know a lot of other states are trying to pass it, as well. From the business aspect, it is hard to justify telling a business owner what they can allow in their bar or restaurant, but there are regulations and licenses that do determine certain aspects of a business- so this isn't too far of a strech. Perhaps it will change to a license to allow smoking- something like a liquor license. But, as Noell said, it is also nice to be a non-smoker and actually be a non-smoker!

Anyway, how was your Christmas, Matt? I bet Leavenworth was cool to see. I haven't been up there at Christmas time, but I do love that town.

Arc said...

I dig noells compromise, I'm thinking something like: no smoke allowed in family places (say, a regular restaurant, a coffeehouse) and smoking allowed in bars, sport houses, and similar joints, WITH the proper permits.

I mention permits because, although I'm not against people who willingly choose to smoke, I AM in favor of taxing all you who pollute the environment an extra shift, those who kill themselves along with others very slowly.

You should Know Matt that smokers are losing the battle. Entire entities like Ireland have permanently banned smokers except for a few, restricted areas... even outdoors are banned from smokers!
So is the case of japan for example, and now some states of U.S.A.

Very hard issue to address. But you know, hate the smoke, love the smoker (though with deaths breath, is not easy to)