Allow me to rant about politics for a few minutes…
I’ve written a couple articles for the paper involving the smoking ban that went into effect in Ohio last year, and from one of the local veterans’ groups in town I’d learned that they were appealing the decision of the courts to extend the ban to private/fraternal organizations. Well, yesterday the idiotic supreme court of Ohio upheld the ruling from a lower court and let the ban stand completely; for all indoor locations. Now, let me quote from the actual ballot, in other words, what voters actually read and agreed with:
“Exempt from the smoking restrictions certain locations, including private residences (except during the hours that the residence operates as a place of business involving non-residents of the private residents), designated smoking rooms hotels, motels and other lodging facilities; designated smoking areas for nursing home residents; retail tobacco stores, outdoor patios, private clubs, and family-owned and operated places of business.”
There you have it. That’s what the voters chose. And now the supreme court said that even the private clubs, which the voters chose to exempt from the smoking ban, are not able to allow smoking. What’s worse is that the supreme court didn’t even have written decision to accompany its inaction. Not only was I not able to vote for this issue because I was out of the country, but now the court is not even acquiescing with the people’s wishes.
These veterans’ groups are starting to hurt now. They do a lot of charity and community work in cities and small towns, and now they’re losing members and money and in turn it’s going to affect others, all because the members of these veteran groups can’t go into a building, socialize and have a smoke.
So here’s my position on the issue: if the government truly cares about its citizens’ health, it would completely ban tobacco and smoking. But the government can’t do that because tobacco farmers and the tobacco industry have power and influence and like it or not, tobacco is a part of this, and almost every other culture. However, if the government doesn’t have the guts to courage to completely ban tobacco, it should stop making these half-assed laws that just harass smokers. Oh, and if cigarettes are so bad for the people, then stop taxing them and using the revenue to fund the ridiculous government that’s trying to ban their consumption! In other words, don’t bite the hand that feeds you.