We live in strange times. The “nanny state” mentality is ramping up into overdrive just as the War on Drugs hits the rock of enlightened public opinion.
And nothing shows this to stranger effect than the contrast between the continuing success of the anti-tobacco movement while marijuana liberalization proceeds apace.
As “medical marijuana” and even decriminalized recreational marijuana use seem to be gaining ground, the whole “smoking in public” thing has become more draconian.
For years now, state legislatures and town councils and even voting populations have been cracking down on smoking tobacco in public, despite the very shaky science regarding second-hand smoke.
And now the city council of San Rafael, California, has voted — unanimously — to ban residents of apartments, condos, duplexes, and multi-family houses from smoking cigarettes and other “tobacco products” inside their homes.
This American Cancer Association-approved legislation is quite intrusive. And one of the writers of the law boasted how little it matters to her who owns what property: “It doesn’t matter if its owner-occupied or renter-occupied,” she said. “We didn’t want to discriminate.”
And yet, contrasted with the cannabis liberalization movement — with medical marijuana legal (in some sense) statewide — there is discrimination here: in favor of the “weed” and against the “leaf.”
Perhaps history repeats itself. The war against cannabis began as the war on alcohol ended, with the repeal of the 18th Amendment. We could be we witnessing, now, another weird and inconsistent trade-off of paranoid prohibitions.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.