Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It


There are plenty of places one can go for a bite or a drink in Washington, DC, that are smoke free. But that's not good enough for the leaders of SmokeFree DC, who are determined to impose their preferences on all of the capital's bars and restaurants. Lefty activist Zoe Mitchell has decided she's had enough.

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  1. I left Montgomery County for Baltimore City about a year ago. This newly enacted smoking ban was looming and played a part in my decision. I currently go to school in Mont Co. I had my last happy hour drink there last weekend. Fuck ’em, let ’em rot. If they do it in DC, I’ll also avoid spending a dime there if I can. If they go state-wide (it’s under discussion in MD, they are waiting to see how Mont Co fairs) I’m done with school in about a year, and NH is looking better and better.

  2. A lefty making sense? Oh my God, next thing you know Arnie’ll become governor of CA, Oh, wait . . .

  3. damn puritans…. go to a non-smoking place if it bugs you!

  4. The Fayetteville, Ark. city council just passed a ban on smoking in restaurants. Smoke-Free Fayetteville originally proposed banning it in bars as well; but since that would have been harder to pass, they decided to scale it down and get the camel’s nose in the tent. A petition drive got over 4,000 signatures to submit the ordinance to a referendum, but the city threw it out because a copy of the ordinance wasn’t stapled to each signature sheet.

    The funniest (albeit inadvertently) thing during the controversy was the Smoke-Free Fayetteville radio propaganda. One ad that played at least every fifteen minutes had a customer entering a restaurant, and being asked by the maiter d’ whether he wanted the hand-washing or non-hand-washing section (“Well, the cooks and waiters serving the hand-washing section wash their hands after using the toilet”). Another similar ad had a visitor to a public swimming pool being asked if he wanted the peeing on non-peeing section. In both cases, of course, the outraged customer asked, “Isn’t there some kind of a LAW?” And the employee said, “Well, restaurants have smoking and non-smoking sections. What’s the difference?” The voice-over at the end asked “That’s what we want to know–what’s the difference?”

    What’s gut-bustingly funny about these ads is what it says about tampon-brained NPR liberals. Only one of them would believe that “some kind of a LAW” could stop people from peeing in the pool or make them wash their hands. Just like gun control laws: words on a piece of paper have a magical ability to transform reality.

  5. Yes, but the really insidious thing about the manner in which they did it in Mont Co was the premise that legally, in MC, a place that serves alcohol is a PUBLIC place. Therefore, the property rights matter is cast off, and it becomes, at least rhetorically and legally, a “public” matter. The same “public” aspect of alcohol-serving establishments was used not too long ago in Northern Virginia to arrest people for “public” drunkenness…while they were at bars.

  6. I wonder what the Minor Threat types think of this. There are a lot of anti-government straight edgers in DC.

  7. Just out of curiosity, are property taxes levied on these bars which are “public places”?

    IMO, that’s the easiest way to determine the public vs. private nature of a place.

  8. Julian can call me a lefty, but no one else can. I generally make it a point not to place myself on an obsolete political spectrum.

  9. Zoe-
    Well, “lefty” was modifying activist, and whatever you think deep in your heart of hearts, vis a vis your professional efforts…
    …well, let’s just say that if “lefty” means anything, it seems applicable here.

  10. EMAIL: draime2000@yahoo.com
    DATE: 01/25/2004 10:28:46
    The shifts of Fortune test the reliability of friends.

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