Calabasas, CA, which is more or less where I live, today enacted “perhaps the most comprehensive smoking ban in the United States.” The law, a real work of big government art, prohibits smoking in all public places where people may be exposed to secondhand smoke. (Here’s the actual law.)
As Jacob Sullum notes on reason.com, “Their aim is not just to eliminate secondhand smoke but to eliminate smoking. That’s why the ordinance cites the health effects of smoking on smokers as a justification for the ban.”
Tellingly, the abc7.com story linked to above finds it necessary to note, “People will still be allowed to smoke in their homes.” But, by the way, not on your apartment balcony if it’s adjacent to some common area.
Now here’s the real rub. This abject attack on personal freedom and responsibility is the brainchild of Calabasas Mayor Barry Groveman.
Groveman is a former prosecutor and environmental attorney, and he is running for CA State Assembly. And guess who supported him in that race? ME!
Groveman wants the Democratic nomination for the 41st District, considered a “safe seat” for Democrats. His primary strategy included appealing to Republicans in our area as a centrist, stressing repeatedly that the issues he was most interested in were essentially non-partisan, for instance traffic reduction. I had breakfast with him, and hosted a fundraiser for him in my home. Did he mention his plan to make Calabasas a smoke-free city? Of course not.
Well, live and learn, I guess. Beware the wolf in centrist’s clothing.