As Goes Bangor, So Goes Maine

Last week Maine became the fourth state, along with Arkansas, Louisiana, and California, to prohibit smoking in vehicles carrying minors. Its law, which covers all passengers under 16 and allows primary enforcement (meaning that a driver can be pulled over just for violating the smoking ban), is the strictest so far. The Arkansas and Louisiana bans apply only to little children. California's covers anyone below 18, but a smoker can be cited only if he's first pulled over for some other reason. The main backer of Bangor's car smoking ban, after which the state law is modeled, says next year he will push Maine legislators to raise the cutoff age to 18 and increase the penalty, now a $50 fine. Police can't know the age of people in a car until they pull it over, of course, so the law could provide a handy excuse for hassling young adults who smoke, especially if its coverage is extended to 16- and 17-year-olds. Don't like the looks of that long-haired 20-year-old with a NORML bumper sticker? If he's smoking in the presence of someone who might be a teenager, you've got all the justification you need for a traffic stop. 

My previous comments on car smoking bans (and my reasons for thinking they are not justified by the need to prevent child abuse) can be found here, here, and here, among other places.

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  • ||

    DON'T LET THIS COMMENT GO DOWN THE MEMORY HOLE!

  • ||

    Now if only we could outlaw smoking in peoples homes... you know - for the children.

  • ||

    Reinmoose, that is quite clearly right around the corner.

  • TallDave||

    I thought some town in Cali already did the "can't smoke in your own damned home" thing.

    Bangor? Hell, I just met her.

  • TallDave||

    Yep, here we go:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-10-03-smoking-bans_N.htm

    Lawmakers in two California cities are discussing unprecedented legislation this month that would widen a growing voluntary movement by landlords and resident associations to ban smoking inside apartments and condos.

    PLEASE GOD PEOPLE THINK OF THE FUCKING CHILDREN!!

  • TallDave||

    Oh, I missed the best "this is all voluntary plus look how evil smokers are" part:

    The legislative push, which has triggered death threats against council members in both cities, is a controversial part of a mostly voluntary effort to prod landlords and condo associations to adopt smoke-free policies.

    "Voluntary." I bet the smokers who live in those associations and apartments don't think it's very fucking "voluntary."

  • Captain Biberty||

    Bangor head! Children's health'll drive you mad.
    Bangor head! Children's health'll drive you mad.

  • Brian||

    Sounds like a fifth-amendment taking to me. Doubt the Supreme Court would agree though.

  • Episiarch||

    When you're driving around the back woods of Maine to your camp and there is nary a cop in sight and no speed traps it all seems so idyllic. Then you look into it and realize Maine is one of the more ridiculously statist states out there, when it seems like it should follow the NH or VT mold better.

  • ||

    Small town Maine. Quiet. Idyllic. Quaint. Vampiric.

  • Chance Yohman||

    The bill's sponsor actually calls himself a libertarian.

    http://www.wcsh6.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=79066

    I'll also post my email exchange with him from earlier. Nothing great and I don't look like a saint, but Rep. Duprey is an asshat.

  • Chance Yohman||

    My first email to Rep. Duprey:

    I think this issue is of far greater importance than balancing the budget, lowering taxes, or preventing the federal government from robbing us of our civil rights. The Founding fathers would be proud.

    In other news, the term libertarian does not apply when you sponsor nanny statism. Actually, fascist, communist, or liberal is more applicable. You ought to consider switching to the Democratic party for this vote.

    I'll add a suggestion, which may or may not be in the bill. Take the kids away from the parents too, so Maine's fine social services can do a great job. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-72175627.html

    So, thanks again for upholding libertarian and republican virtues. I'll sleep easier at night knowing that part of my paycheck goes to you.

    Actually wait, fuck you.

  • Chance Yohman||

    Rep. Duprey's response:

    >I'll sleep easier at night knowing that part
    > of my paycheck goes to you.



    - Don't fret about that. Being a millionaire allows me to donate my entire legislative salary to charity.



    Go smoke a joint and relax. Isn't that what you Libertarians do to relax?

  • Taktix®||

    The bill's sponsor actually calls himself a libertarian.

    I'm starting to get a little sick of this. Any rEVOLution or whatever, if it ever picked up steam, would end up just like Iran's 1979 revolution:

    A popular movement throwing off oppression gets co-opted by some fundies, and we end up worse off than we started.

  • Chance Yohman||

    My last retort:

    Wow, you are as much an asshat as I imagined. Also, not all libertarian leaning people smoke marijuana. If you were my legislator, then I would slap you in the face. You are a disgrace.


    -----------------------------------------------
    I emailed a plethora of news agencies in Maine to drum up some news on his unprofessional response. Yet it led nowhere. Granted, I was not tactful in my responses. Unfortunately this is the norm in Maine and I am fed up with it.

    Copies of the original emails available upon request, if anyone is interested.

  • ||

    Dammit! Now I'm going to have to change this joke:

    Q: What do girls in Maine say after their first sexual experience?

    A: Get off me dad, you're crushin' my smokes.

  • ||

    It's as if VT, MA and ME, are in a perennial competition to show NH who can have the most regulation and the highest taxes. Of course, they're all consistently out-classed by Canada.

    And unfortunately, slowly but surely, NH is caving into peer pressure.

  • TallDave||

    Pro,

    You forgot "bitter, gun-clinging."

  • ||

    Maine has a lot of problems more important than smoking in cars. The timber industry is rapidly declining, manufacturing is weak, there are no jobs for young people, it just gets worse the farther north you go.

    At least this was the strong impression i got the last time I was there, talking with the locals.

  • ||

    Taktix®,

    Like most revolutions, ours being one of the major exceptions. The Russian Revolution wasn't led by the Bolsheviks, after all. They just took over later. Ditto the French Revolution.

    Chance,

    Good for you. I might have been more civil in my e-mails, but my content would likely have been about the same as yours.

  • nothinghead||

    How are police going to know the ages of everyone in a car after pulling it over? Are all passengers of cars now required to carry and produce ID?

  • ||

    The American Revolution was orchestrated wholly by "fundies". The founders were radical, fundamentalist limited government, liberal republicans.

  • Mr. Demograpics||

    Maine, California, ARKANSAS and LOUISIANA.

    what an odd grouping...

  • Chance Yohman||

    Pro Libertate,

    Thanks. It gets hard to put up with it after 24 years and I'm 26. I'm saving up enough money to never have to come back. Hopefully.

  • El Camino||

    Forty years ago, when I was a kid, my dad taught me how to drink while driving (Tip #1 - stay alert to your surroundings). How I miss that bygone era.

  • ||

    Chance,

    I visited Maine about twenty years ago (Saco). It's nice in August.

  • Chance Yohman||

    Pro Libertate,

    I grew up around Saco. I live further up the coast now. It's a beautiful state. Now only if Augusta would get overrun by rabid wild animals.

  • Episiarch||

    Maine is beautiful. I have spent many a week on the lake (Parker Pond) in the summer.

    You'd think if they were smart they'd slash taxes and create other incentives for businesses (maybe high-tech?) to relocate there. Portland isn't that far from Boston and is a very nice city.

    But no, they don't. I will never understand the mentality of the legislators in failing states/cities.

    See also: Hartford, CT

  • ||

    Maine has a lot of problems more important than smoking in cars. The timber industry is rapidly declining, manufacturing is weak, there are no jobs for young people, it just gets worse the farther north you go.

    And, oddly, not a single goddam one of these is anything the government should be involved in.

  • ||

    "You'd think if they were smart they'd slash taxes and create other incentives for businesses (maybe high-tech?) to relocate there." Yeah, Epi, that is all that is needed to attract the corporations. I mean, Kansas is a low tax heaven and look at the booming tech industry there ;). Do you really see life in such simplistic black and white terms? Lowering taxes means WONDERFUL MAGIC and raising taxes means SOCIALIST HELL WITH ALWAYS RESULTING POVERTY. Always. Wow, what a world, what a world...

    "there are no jobs for young people" "not a single goddam one of these is anything the government should be involved in"
    RC-Were you Hoover's policy advisor?

  • ||

    You know, that is why NYC, with its relative high taxes and regulation, is such a capitalist hellhole and Wichita, with its relatively low taxes/regulation is a libertopian paradise.

  • Stephen King||

    "Now only if Augusta would get overrun by rabid wild animals."

    You know, I just a great idea for a new novel . . .

  • Stephen King||

    just *got* an idea

  • tarran||

    Mr Nice Guy,

    I don't know where you learned history, but if you think Hoover had a "hands-off" attitude towards the economy, you are quite mistaken.

    The guy meddled win wage rates, agricultural production, stock market regulation and was the primary mover behind the creation of the FCC and the establishment of a post war telophone monnopoly operated by A T & T.

    Calling Hoover a non-interventionist is about as accurate as calling Bill Clinton a pacifist.

  • Dello||

    So, will this give the cops one more reason to pull over anyone who doesn't have gray hair? After all, anyone smoking could themselves be under 18 (and breaking the law), thus needing the cops to pull them over to check...

  • Billy Beck||

    "Forty years ago, when I was a kid, my dad taught me how to drink while driving (Tip #1 - stay alert to your surroundings). How I miss that bygone era."

    Forty years ago when I was a kid, my father would send me down to the corner store with thirty cents and I would buy him a pack of cigarettes. Nobody ever so much as blinked.

    I remember a free country. I'm going to miss it for the rest of my life.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    I remember a free country. I'm going to miss it for the rest of my life.

    .. well said ..

    .. I was born in Maine and have returned a few times over the years.. retirement is on the horizon and I think about retiring in Northern Maine.. small towns, lots o' lakes to drop hooks in ..

    .. then I look at the statist hellhole governing this idyllic location .. State Liquor stores, smoking bans.. no thanks..

    .. little town where my mother and grandfather grew up is slowly dying away... 10 years ago or so I could have bought the old family home for $36k .. but what would I have done with it?? .. they closed the mill and all the young folks have disappeared.. looking around, it seems to me that the average age of Sherman Station, ME 04777 is about 75 ..

    .. Hobbit

  • ||

    RC-Were you Hoover's policy advisor?

    No, MNG. Could you let us in on which of the following the government can actually "solve", and how?

    (a) smoking in cars.
    (b) The timber industry is rapidly declining, (c) manufacturing is weak,
    (d) there are no jobs for young people,
    (e) it just gets worse the farther north you go.

  • ||

    Now in Maine the thought police!




    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2001971/posts

    New Bill in Maine Makes "Visual Sexual Aggression" a Crime

    It might be 2008 in the rest of the USA, but in Maine, it's 1984.

    A new bill in the Pine Tree State would make it a crime to peer at children in public. It's been asserted that some legislators can justify making any action a crime-as long as they add the magic words "for the children" to the mix.

    This Maine bill adds proof to that assertion.

    State Rep. Dawn Hill, D-York, is the head cheerleader for a bill only a fan of police state actions could love.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-

    news/2001971/posts

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