The Corner

Anti-Smokers Vs. Property Rights

Radley Balko had a nice letter in the Washington Post about how the failure of an anti-smoing ballot initiative is a victory for property rights. At heart, Balko notes, the issue”is about letting D.C. bar and restaurant owners make their own decisions about their own businesses.” Bozeman, Montana (where I am this summer) illustrates this nicely. There are plenty of smoke-filled bars and restaurants here, but also many smoke-free establishments. Smokers and non-smokers alike have a wide range of eateries and wateringh holes from which to choose, and the market rewards those establishments that do the best job of catering to consumer wants. There’s no need for prohibition. If consumers truly want smoke-free bars, establishments that go smoke-free will get plenty of business.

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.

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