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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Letter to the Editor: IPFW’s New Smoking Ban


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Written by: Communicator StaffMarch 26, 2014

Our Dear Leader, Ms. Carwein, had a recent opportunity to show courage and display leadership, but failed both. If history tells us anything important it’s the many ways we repeatedly screw up. We repeat mistakes made prior when we should know better. Additionally though, history provides examples of the occasional success story we could easily follow if we only opened our eyes and acted upon what we saw.

Our nation’s most zealous effort at the management and control of social behavior, the prohibition of alcohol in the early 20th century, provides an example of both. Our current drug prohibition and the ever increasing tobacco prohibition would do well to study the first.

Alcohol prohibition became such a campaign that it garnered not one but two US Constitutional amendments. It also gave us entrenched organized crime, Al Capone, and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. However, to counter, after the repeal of Prohibition, we had 11 straight years in this country of declining homicide rates. The monetary incentive fueling Prohibition-related violence was largely removed. Further upon repeal, we had an example of moderating compromises among competing societal groups, mostly successful at removing the rough edges from the issue.

One such grand compromise exists in Moore County, Tennessee where the Jack Daniels distillery lays claim as the largest-selling American whiskey in the world. Even though this great American institution produces gallons upon barrels of sour-mash bourbon, its county of residence is dry. No one can legally purchase or consume the product within the borders of that county. This compromise, though, does not appear to have hindered many folk there. The repeal of Prohibition not only allowed individual states to set their own liquor laws, states could also allow counties to do likewise, and Tennessee did.

IPFW’s smoking huts have been established throughout the school grounds away from the normal pedestrian traffic lanes and building entrances. People who desire using the weed [tobacco] here have to make a specific decision and effort to do so. And so far as I know, no one NOT desiring to use the weed [tobacco] has been forced to do so either by threat or at the end of the gun barrel. In other words, it has to this point been an entirely free and unfettered act by those desiring to do so without compelling those who do not desire such activity.

That came to an end recently by Dear Leader’s edict. A previously functional, moderate and freely acted upon compromise has been flushed down a toilet by the singular extremist act of banning the use and possession of an otherwise legal and ethical product upon and within these school grounds; and e-cigs as well? (With this decision-making power in full force, maybe our Dear Leader could do something constructive about the approaching deluge of spring plant pollen, an element afflicting more campus members than second-hand tobacco smoke. BAN POLLEN!!)

Dear Leader has taken a reasonable and moderate compromise on the issue of tobacco use and tossed it on its head. Her extremist position is nothing more than a continuation of the nanny-state mentality which mandates that our chronological and ideological “betters” know what is good for us in all cases. She is treating thousands of majority-age adults as little children, incapable of deciding for themselves what is best for them, or convenient at the moment, without compelling others to do likewise. Moderation in nothing is extreme in everything. Ms. Carwein’s act is arbitrary on its face and a rebuke to reasonableness and moderation. Good job!

Stan Jones
General Studies