I Don’t Smoke — But ‘My Character’ Does!by Brad Warbiany
Bars in Minnesota are finding interesting and creative ways to get around the state smoking ban:
What started as a quirky idea to get around the statewide smoking ban appears to be spreading like wildfire.
Dozens of bars are expected to stage “theater nights” this weekend in which patrons are dubbed actors. The law, which went into effect in October, permits performers to smoke during a theatrical production. “Two weeks ago, we had one bar doing this,” said Mark Benjamin, a criminal defense attorney who launched the theater-night idea. He estimates 50 to 100 bars could be on tap for theater nights this weekend based on phone calls, e-mails and requests for the how-to-stage-a-theater-night packet that he’s devised. And many bar owners are passing on the information quickly among themselves without getting in contact with him.
When people are this drawn to smoking, especially in a place so brutally cold as Minnesota, where it was -9 degrees F the last time I was there, is it any surprise that they’ll find *any* way to get around this nanny state idiocy, even if it eventually means blatant violations of the law?
I’d say that perhaps these advocates of a smoking ban should simply drop the veil, show their true colors, and declare that they wish to see smoking made illegal nationwide. I would hope that this would lead to widespread outrage among Americans in favor of individual freedom. But in modern times, where the Constitution and its protection on individual rights has been replaced by worship at the idol of democracy, I think there wouldn’t be much resistance at all. After all, I live in California, where I think there’s more social acceptance of marijuana than there is of tobacco. The biggest fight would not come from individual citizens, but from the beneficiaries of government largess paid for by cigarette taxes.