Councilors saved our eyes; now save our lungs
Dear Ashland City Council:
Thank you for the courage you showed by protecting the citizens of Ashland from the blight of naked people within the city limits. Now that you have protected our eyes, I respectfully submit that you continue your courageous stance by protecting our noses, lungs, hearts and cardiovascular systems by banning the smoking of tobacco and marijuana products within the city limits.
For your erudition (and philosophical support), I offer a summary of a Food & Drug Administration Petition I filed [Docket No. FDA-2009-N-0294]. To the end of generating income for the city, I suggest you construct a "Smoking Club" (with entertainment, etc.) far away from the public at large, where those who wish to involve themselves in the pleasures of nicotine and marijuana may do so without forcing their pleasure on those of us who do not wish to be so enthralled. I am certain that if Viagra or contraceptives were delivered via smoke, even the so-called conservatives would demand government intervention.
1) All forms of consumer-intended tobacco products are medication (nicotine) delivery systems intended for adults. Therefore:
a) Adults that desire or require nicotine as a medication or a source of personal pleasure have a constitutional right to self-administer their medication.
b) Minors are not permitted to use tobacco products. Thus, tobacco smoke by its ubiquitous nature is an illegal substance.
2) Smoke from any source, by its nature cannot be controlled as to its direction of travel or restricted as to its parameters of influence. Therefore:
a) Tobacco smoke infringes upon the rights of all citizens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
b) Tobacco smokers walking or driving past a dwelling with an open window will medicate the air within that dwelling.
c) Tobacco smoke emanating from automobiles affects passers-by without warning and consideration as to their age or health status.
d) Tobacco smoke medicates anyone on a public street or attending a social event.
e) Discarded cigarettes continually medicate the air for the duration of their burn.
f) Those who smoke in their automobiles impose their medication on their passengers.
3) Those persons that do not have a need or a desire for nicotine have a right to be free from it. No doctor, corporation, or governmental agency has the right to demand a patient take a medication except in ways proscribed by due process of law (such as with patients adjudicated to a mental institution). The tobacco industry, distributors and clients who smoke tobacco products are violating the civil rights of every non-smoker by denying their right to due process.
4) Any medication delivery system that creates smoke forces the participation of anyone within its vicinity to its effects.
a) There is no constitutional right to smoke, for the same reason that there is no constitutional right to listen to a radio on a bus or compel other persons to eat what we eat, worship as we worship, or partake of any personal activity deemed pleasurable to us.
b) Only the nicotine delivery system creates smoke that interferes with the freedom of others, where government must take action. This petition is not a proposal for "prohibition."
c) The automobile owner, the hunter, the firearms enthusiast, the alcohol drinker or those who use Viagra or contraceptives cannot force their particular kind of enjoyment upon others who do not wish it. Only the smoker enjoys the power to compel others to "enjoy their pleasure."
d) While self-destructive smokers effectively destroy their own well-being, they also exert the power to include others in their self-destruction.
e) When a smoker displays anger toward those who would compel them to switch their addiction to a form that does not affect their neighbors, it is prima facie evidence that a significant aspect of that smoker's nicotine addiction is to exert control over others. Such behavior is anti-social and should require psychological counseling for the smoker.
f) The above comments also apply to smoking so-called medical marijuana.
5) There is no connection in law of tobacco smoke to alcohol, rirearms, or motor vehicles.
a) Alcohol poses no threat to the health of anyone who does not choose to partake of it. A tea drinker cannot get drunk from an alcoholic's drink by merely sitting at a table with the alcohol drinker.
b) Firearms have a history of being the implement of protecting lives, preventing violent confrontations by their mere presence, and allowing the oppressed to obtain and preserve their God-given freedoms.
c) Automobiles facilitate the transportation of goods and services and benefit the public.
d) Tobacco smoke can make no claim as to the protection of life or property, easing the burden of travel or the transportation of goods and services for the benefit of the general welfare.
6) Delivery systems for nicotine that do not infringe on the rights of others who wish to be free from its influence are readily available.
a) Patches, gum, smokeless cigarettes and non-smoke-creating forms of tobacco do not affect anyone other than the user and do not infringe on the non-user's right of non-participation.
b) Smokeless forms of tobacco do not offer control over others.
1) No one can compel others to partake of their pleasurable activities.
2) No firearm owner can compel others to own firearms.
3) No alcohol drinker can compel others to drink alcohol.
4) No automobile owner can compel others to drive what they choose as transportation.
5) No nicotine patch user can place a nicotine patch upon any other unwilling person.
6) Tobacco smokers (a minority) have privilege over non-smokers and all other groups.
7) Tobacco smokers force others into their addiction.
8) The removal of tobacco smoke from the environment will guarantee equality under the law.
John K. Fox is a community access television producer at Rogue Valley Television. He has lived in Ashland on and off since 1981.