Did you hear that the citizens of Colorado who were crazy enough to vote ended up legalizing marijuana production and consumption in this state a year or so ago? Ha! Ha! Of course you did. The geo-political zone known as "Colorado" has been the subject of a never ending stream of jokes about marijuana and its alleged effects upon any human being who ingests it for the past year. There was another marijuana related law on the ballot this year. It seems that a bit of a problem has developed with marijuana tourists. Marijuana tourists are people who come to Colorado to purchase and consume marijuana. Since they can't legally take the marijuana home most of them make the decision to smoke it here. The problem with smoking it here, for a tourist, is that it is not legal to smoke it in public and no hotels that I am aware of allow it to be smoked on their premises. That puts a marijuana consumer in a bit of a pinch. She can purchase the stuff but she can't find a legal place to smoke it.
Proposition 300 was designed to solve the problem of the marijuana tourist by allowing for public locations where tourists can smoke the marijuana they have purchased. The law passed and effective next year it will be legal to smoke marijuana in public businesses like bars, coffee shops, restaurants and anywhere else that gets a permit from the government. Hooray for the marijuana smokers. They will be able to smoke the stuff they have purchased without fear of being arrested, albeit still subject to extensive government regulation and control. But at least it will be possible for profit seeking businesses to obtain permits from the government that will allow them to permit marijuana to be smoked in their establishments.
Does anyone besides me see the irony in this situation? I have posted several articles to this blog in recent years describing how smoking tobacco has become an increasingly criminal activity. You can find some of them here, here, here and here. More and more municipalities in the Denver metro area are banning smoking tobacco in public. A week or so ago I wrote a series of posts about Hawaii. In Hawaii it is now illegal to smoke tobacco anywhere in public that does not have a government sign declaring that spot to be a legal smoking zone. Colorado is rapidly moving in that direction. Boulder, that lovely socialist haven north of Denver, has criminalized all use of tobacco except in private. I can't smoke, if I wanted to, on any of the Open Space trails in Boulder. Golden, that lovely town that brings Amerika Coors beer, has banned smoking on its golf courses. I can't light up a cigar on the golf course, if I wanted to, without being cited and fined for a misdemeanor. Of course, smoking tobacco in all businesses, both public and private, was banned years ago. Just try lighting up your pipe in any business or public location and you will find out just how oppressive the new laws have become. Smokers truly have no rights.
I trust you now see the irony. Next year it will be legal to smoke marijuana in a bar, coffee shop, restaurant or public business but attempting to smoke a cigar in those exact same places will be against the law. Unlike marijuana, a businessman who wants to allow his customers to smoke tobacco in his establishment has no means to bring that about. There are no permits available for businesses that want to allow tobacco consumption on their premises but there will be permits available for any business that wants it to allow marijuana smoking on their premises. You might want to scroll down to the bottom of this blog and read the quote from Frederic Bastiat. If you are too lazy to do that (I would be), here is the quote, "When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the
cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect
for the law." I believe the majority of the voters in Colorado have lost their moral sense and, as a result, the rest of us have lost our respect for the law.