Getting Burned By The Butt Law

Getting Burned By The Butt Law
Posted by CN Staff on June 03, 2003 at 09:41:26 PT
By Margaret Wente
Source: Globe and Mail 
Last Jan. 18, police in New Glasgow, N.S., made a major bust. They managed to infiltrate Dooly's Billiard Room, where they observed several patrons committing illegal acts. Among those charged were barmaid Candace Mason, 21, and manager Terra MacLean, who were permitting customers to flagrantly violate the law.In court, one of the constables told the judge that he had seen four people in the act of smoking cigarettes. He saw two other people sitting at a table with a lit cigarette resting in an ashtray. Not only that, there were ashtrays on every table, indicating a clear intent to flout the law. And even though the two women clearly had knowledge of illegal smoking, they had done nothing to stop it.
Under Nova Scotia's tough new Smoke-Free Places Act, that's a crime. Both smokers and the proprietors of establishments in which they're caught face fines of up to $2,000.Forgive me for feeling slightly dizzy. But it's hard to comprehend that smoking cigarettes is about to be a bigger crime than smoking marijuana.If the government's new pot bill passes (and God knows it should -- after SARS, mad-cow and West Nile, we need to mellow out), the fine for smoking a joint will be less in some places than the fine for lighting up a Marlboro. And no problem for the pool hall's barmaids, either. Nova Scotia's Smoke-Free Places Act stipulates that "smoke" refers only to tobacco."I think it's a perfect picture of just how ridiculous government is sometimes," says Halifax bar owner Victor Syperek, speaking for the anti-anti-smoking lobby.Some of us remember when the world was a simpler place. Cigarettes were sophisticated, and everybody smoked everywhere. I loved going to university because you could puff away in class.Pot, on the other hand, forced you to puff away in secret, or at your professor's house. The authorities would throw you in jail for weeks on end if they found an old roach in your car. This was a serious drawback. Also, smoking marijuana led to more dangerous addictions, though not the ones we were warned against. It produced an insatiable craving for jelly doughnuts from Tim Hortons, on which my friends and I frequently overdosed. Cigarettes, we found, make you thin and focused. Grass makes you fat and fuzzy.But only the lower classes smoke cigarettes without shame any more. All the rest of us feel guilty. My friends hide it from their children, the way they used to hide it from their parents. "Please don't tell my son I smoke!" one friend begged me as she puffed away in the garage.The new smoking bylaw is not popular in New Glasgow. "Most people don't agree with it," says Dawn Matheson, another bartender at Dooly's. "A lot of them feel it should be their own decision." New Glasgow, however, is a small and backward place. In the more enlightened centres of Halifax, Toronto and New York, the clampdown on smoking is widely applauded by the opinion elites as a sign of social progress.Those same elites are mighty chuffed about Canada's move to decriminalize pot. They think it's just one more sign of how enlightened and progressive we are, compared to those backward yahoos across the border. They see no contradiction between decriminalizing one substance and banning a whole bunch of other ones, even though they are equally, if not more, innocuous.In Toronto, you'll soon be fined $250 for spraying your grass with dandelion killer. (Common herbicides have already been declared illegal in Halifax and dozens of other cities because people believe they give children brain cancer.) In Halifax, people are forbidden to wear perfume or aftershave, because someone might be allergic to it. Back in Toronto, you can be fined for not sorting your garbage properly. I will say nothing of the criminalization of harmless gun owners, who are now forced to sign up with a $1-billion gun registry that has failed to halt a single gun crime.Even the pot law isn't very liberal, since it says it's basically okay to smoke dope but even more wicked than before to grow and sell it. Try explaining this reasoning to your kids.The government plans to square this circle with a $240-million public-education campaign about the dangers of the evil weed. (Warning: Dope can make you fat.) But it won't work. The new law will be a giant windfall for the triads, Hells Angels and the other swell folks who control the supply chain, as anyone who took Economics 101 can figure out.The good thing is that decriminalization will free up the police and courts for more important things -- like prosecuting smokers. Back in New Glasgow, the judge let the Dooly's barmaid off the hook last week because she was just the barmaid, not the manager. The manager's trial is later this month. There are a dozen more like it in the works.Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)Author: Margaret WentePublished: Tuesday, June 3, 2003 - Page A15 Copyright: 2003 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links 'War on Drugs' a Campaign Against Sin Says Canada Cares Too Much About Liberties 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on June 03, 2003 at 19:11:46 PT
Thanks freedom fighter
Thanks for the link! I hope you get published!
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Comment #14 posted by freedom fighter on June 03, 2003 at 18:46:17 PT
for reference
The letter I wrote is in regard to two aritcles written last Sunday on DenverPost,,1413,36%257E75%257E,00.htmlLook for Yes side and NO side articlesFoM, that quote which I altered a bit came from here, someone here said that long time ago and it did stratch a notch in my brain.. The poster stated, " .... We can be drug free country but we cannot expect to be free."paceff
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on June 03, 2003 at 17:42:17 PT
freedom fighter 
I liked what you said here. You said: In short, we can be smoke-free country but we cannot expect to be free.What you said and Abraham Lincoln sums it up for me. Prohibition"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance.It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes 
beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control 
a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. PresidentSpeech, 18 Dec. 1840, Illinois House of Representatives
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Comment #12 posted by freedom fighter on June 03, 2003 at 17:35:02 PT
This LTE might get publish!
The great smoking debate! Denver right now is currently considering such a policy so I send this letter below and they informed me that they might publish it. I hope so!pazffDear Editor;After reading both sides to the Smoking Ban issue, I need to ask Dr. JefferyWagener a question,From 1945 until the early seventies, the world's nuclear powers detonated 
HUNDREDS of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere. The consequences of those 
tests will be with us for literally millinia. Those radioactive isotopes 
become a part of everything in trace amounts and is in fact the cheif 
culprit behind the cancer plague that can be statistically proven to have 
started in the early 1950s.Gov't scientests know that this is true but they will never acknowlege that 
radioactive fallout from nuclear tests decades ago is killing people becausethe liability is just too great. You can prove it to yourself by taking a 
geiger counter to places where runoff setiment collects and see for 
yourself.While no one is claiming that smoking tobacco or anything else for that 
matter is good for you, that alone is NOT responsible for the dramatic 
upturn in exotic and aggressive cancers. Big tobacco was just a deep pocket 
that was easily demonized and has become the patsy of the century.So if you're worried about cancer, cheer up. If you live long enough, you'llprobably get it.If we are going to proceed forming a policy banning cigarette smoking, why 
then, let's go all the way and completely prohibit the possession of any 
type of tobaccos. Let's form tobacco police units to arrest and throw the 
smoking offenders in jail. Force them into treatment like we currently do tomarijuana addicts. Throw those who refuse to quit smoking tobacco in 
prisons. Let's build more prisons creating a tobacco-military-prison economyjust like we do with today's drugs.In short, we can be smoke-free country but we cannot expect to be free.Cordially Yours,
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Comment #11 posted by Jose Melendez on June 03, 2003 at 17:23:22 PT
How to Arrest Prohibition: Answer the Objection
looks like we were right about vaporizers... From: Cigarette Maker Says Marketing Prompted Decision to Back FDA Regulation of TobaccoBy Nancy Zuckerbrod Associated Press Writer 
Published: Jun 3, 2003WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's leading cigarette maker explained to lawmakers Tuesday that it has reversed its long-held opposition to Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco in order to help market two products it considers less harmful. 
At the same hearing, the country's biggest snuff maker pressed for the right to make health claims about its product. Philip Morris USA is leading the push for FDA regulation, though it fought such a move in the past. Mike Szymanczyk, the company's chief executive, told a House Government Reform subcommittee that FDA oversight would now enable Philip Morris to effectively market two new products it is developing that could be less harmful to smokers than existing cigarettes. He said the company does not believe it can make health claims about products that aren't regulated by the FDA. One is a cigarette that the company believes has fewer of the harmful substances found in current brands. The other is a cigarette-like device in which tobacco is electrically heated. "In the absence of FDA authority in this area, we are forced into making a difficult choice between making claims that haven't been validated by a government agency, on the one hand, and not providing smokers with information that may be important to them, on the other," Szymanczyk said. 
cigarette maker moves to answer smoke related health concerns
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Comment #10 posted by 312 on June 03, 2003 at 14:15:30 PT
'Quit or Die' mentality
To show how ridiculous some politicians can be...The case for 'snus'Health Benefits of Smokeless Tobacco
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 03, 2003 at 14:08:27 PT
I agree again. I can't put my feelings in words very well like you just did. 
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on June 03, 2003 at 13:53:22 PT
the end?
I'm not so sure that civilization will end. I think we'll see something similar to Russia (worst case scenario) or Japan (best case scenario).In Russia, the centralized, top-heavy, militarized federal government ran the country into the ground. Almost everyone is dirt poor now, basic infrastructure has broken down. The country is littered with half-finished and crumbling boodoggles like dams, military facilities, power plants, abandoned and falling down. In Japan, things are better but they're economy has been down for over 10 years with no sign of recovery imminent. Their depression was caused by corrupt financial governance and banking.We have corruption AND militarization.  The one thing about the Bush administration is that they seem to be accelerating all of our problems and addressing none of them. I'm not sure what the answer is. Before 1930, there was almost no government at all. But the rich people had principles back then, they donated money through church and other philanthropy to help the poor, orphans, etc. They committed suicide if they were guilty of scandal.  Now we have government bureaucrats that pretend to care, but are really sucking us dry through incompetency and taxes. In my city there is a big problem with Cape Verdean immigrants - there a bunch of violent gangs that shoot and kill each other.  It's interesting because in Cape Verde there is almost no violence. A newspaper article recently profiled a couple of male teens. When they were at home in Cape Verde, they never got into trouble or were violent. Within a few years of coming here, they were carrying guns and murdering people. It's the American system that breeds violence.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on June 03, 2003 at 12:54:02 PT
I believe you. I know that what goes up must come down. The history of civilized man records this happening over and over again and history will repeat itself. I'm sure glad I'm not just starting out in life. I see how hard it is for our friends that have young adult children. They worry about their childrens future. There just aren't any jobs around here anymore. They've all gone to Mexico from our local small town. My husband worked for GE years ago until the work was sent to Mexico. 
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on June 03, 2003 at 12:42:22 PT
when will it end?
FOM - I think it will end when the money runs out. I know it sounds really harsh, but I truly believe the government will continue to expand until the economy collapses. I fear that government will continue to suck down more of our gross productivity and take away more and more freedoms until the whole thing implodes. When people are eating grass and living in shanty towns is when the War on drugs/terrorism/brown people/smokers/fat people will end.The Dems and Repubs are growing government faster and faster, while the middle class disappears, jobs are shipped overseas, and the rich have their taxes cut, you don't have to be clairvoyant to predict the future. You just have to open your eyes. I think we could see collapse within 2-3 years.  As the Fed keeps borrowing to cover exploding deficits, eventually interest rates will be forced up. Then, the real estate bubble collapses and the Great Depression II begins. All the high tech jobs are being sent offshore, so don't look there for a boost to the economy. The Euro has absolutely crushed the dollar in the last 2 years - gee, I wonder why? A libertarian friend just forwarded this analysis of the Bush cabal's tax "cut". Bush has ALREADY grown the federal government more than any president since LBJ! friend, a financial professional, is urging everyone to invest in Gold because he think the US dollar is headed for big trouble.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 03, 2003 at 12:26:12 PT
News for Kids from John Walters
Hi Everyone,Here are two articles. I don't want to post them but I figured some of you might want to read them.,1282,-2746948,00.html
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on June 03, 2003 at 12:09:55 PT:
The State Has No Place in the Bedrooms...
of the nation, or in the living rooms, family rooms, and kitchens. The health police have forsaken the hippocratic oath of "Do no harm": they are now expanding the drug war to include more substances in their criminal-sanctions-are-better-than-treatment philosophy. The persecution of one habit emboldens the state to persecute yet another. Consenting adults is the guideline for sex. People should have the freedom to decide of which medicine they wish to partake: consenting adults, NOT CHILDREN! "A [hu]man's home is his/[her] castle." Mark my words, if this "pogrom" does not stop, the alcohol community will be the next hit, and we all know what happened the last time that was tried. "Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it." -George Santayana. You think you've seen violence so far? Watch out!ego transcendence follows ego destruction, unless the fear-inspired control-obsession of government snuffs out all human liberty and freedom. 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 03, 2003 at 11:13:38 PT
Just a Comment
I'm really glad I don't have a weight problem because I see the day when being overweight will be another issue. These are scary times. When will it ever stop?
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Comment #2 posted by WolfgangWylde on June 03, 2003 at 10:58:47 PT
Suck it up...
...Butt-Heads! Welcome to the party. Frankly, the more time cops are spending chasing after you, the less time they have to spend chasing after me. The more the merrier.
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on June 03, 2003 at 10:51:58 PT:
The biters get bit
When you curtail the rights of one group, you set the precedent to curtail the rights of other groups, until only the government officers have rights.But some people just never learn...How many times have you seen someone, cigarette in one hand and martini glass in the other, rail on ignorantly and stupidly (there's a difference, a very fine one) against cannabis..because it's a (gasp!) 'drug'?Worse, how many of us have seen said hypocrites demanding higher penalties for possession? Those tobacco smokers who thought they were somehow more moral than 'drug users' are now learning just how it feels to be on the short, sharp and dirty end of the stick they stabbed cannabists with for so long. They are learning how dangerous and capricious government meddling in private lives can be. That that door must always be slammed shut, barred and padlocked, lest a monster sprayed with purfume sets up shop in your life and wreaks it.
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