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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Minnesota No-Smoking Ban
Hurting Recovering Addicts

A private club that serves as a meeting and gathering place for recovering addicts in the city of South St. Paul, Minnesota, is being adversely affected by Minnesota's Nanny State No-Smoking Law. The 301 Club, according to a story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (aka Twincities.com), titled "Smoking ban 'killing our club'" by Nick Ferraro (search it by story name on Google if Twincities.com requests that you register for free before allowing you to read the story), is a place where recovering alcoholics can stop by for "a few smokes and a conversation with other recovering alcoholics."

Fewer people are showing up at the 301 Club for support and talking with their fellow recovering brethren since Minnesota's No-Smoking Anywhere Law went into effect on October 1, 2007.

    "Before the ban, there used to be five or six guys in here at one time, and now look in here," said Mike, who, in keeping with the Alcoholics Anonymous tradition, did not want to reveal his last name. "They're just not coming in."

    The Minnesota Department of Health says the state's smoking ban does not make an exception for private facilities that hold public meetings. Even if a private club is open only an hour a day, the state considers it a public facility where smoking is not allowed.

    Having so many smokers stay away is a concern for the 301 Club's seven-member board of directors, which relies on donations to keep the lights on and the coffee flowing, board member Bill Purdy said.

    "Since the club was cut to no smoking at any time, the numbers have been cut to almost zero, he said. "It's killing our club."

    A Little more than three months after the ban went into effect, the 301 Club finds itself engaged in a dispute with the state. The board argues the club is open to the public only during AA meetings, so smoking should be allowed inside the facility during the rest of the day.

    It also differs from other private clubs because only people who are invited are allowed inside during the nonmeeting times, Purdy said.

It certainly appears that the Non-Smoking Nazis in Minnesota who championed their socialist agenda into the private property rights of others didn't thoroughly think through their plan. Or maybe they realized - but didn't care - that their actions would have a negative impact on those seeking a sober life. Well, no one ever accused the Non-Smoking Nazis of possessing sympathy or empathy for others.

The contentious item, according to the story, is this:

    Purdy said that while the club is complying with the [no smoking] order, it is denying any wrong-doing because it was following the original guidelines the Health Department sent to the club and that once were posted on the department's web site.

    [...]

    [The guidelines] state: "If a meeting is open to the public, the facility where the meeting is being held would be considered a public place during that time."

    The Health Department has taken the words "during that time" off the document.

I see revisionism is alive and well at the Minnesota Health Department.

    When asked why the document was changed, [Health Department air supervisor Dale] Dorschner denied the department ever made a wrong interpretation of the law and attributed the erroneous online information to a staff oversight.

    [...]

    [Dorschner said], "and it might have been a fact sheet that it was part of an old fact sheet that didn't get caught."

Nice try Dale. Which is it; either your department never "made a wrong interpretation", it was a "staff oversight" or it was a "fact sheet, old fact sheet" mixup? What's your next excuse Dale - that your dog ate the original document?

The story begs the question of if the St. Paul Press attempted to contact Minnesota's premiere Social Engineers of No Smoking, the cretinous Queen Bee of Social Engineering, Mrs. Adolf Hitler Jeannue Weigum, Executive Busybody and Pest of the Association for Nonsmokers - Minnesota and the blubbering, pandering and manipulator of phony statistics, Brittany "Buttinski" McFatten, director of the Live Smoke Free, the tireless group of Little Eichmanns who seek to ban cigarette smoking in private homes.

Yeah, it sure is funny that Weigum and McFats are conspicuously silent; why - it almost seems that they don't care about recovering alcoholics and addicts. Of course, why should they care - they didn't care to let the free market settle and solve the smoking permitted/no smoking debate. They don't care that they ran roughshod over private property rights. It's really no surprise that The New Nazi Movement the architects of No-Smoking Social Engineering don't care about people who are fighting every moment of every day to live a sober life.

The No-Smoking Nazis also do not care about the workers in Indian casinos. Oh, they claim they are powerless because of the sovereign status of the land where the casinos are located. This is partly a false argument from the No-Smoking Nazis, but their entire philosophy is based on false arguments.

Indian land is semi-sovereign. Semi-sovereign. They cannot develop their own military or armies, they cannot disregard state and federal laws - for instance, they could not define homicide as a misdemeanor, they cannot legalize arson, they have to comply with speed limits and highway laws, etc, etc.

The fact is, non-smokers are working at casinos and being forced to breath second-hand smoke. And Weigum and McFats don't care about them.

The 301 Club does have Minnesota State Senate President Jim Metzen - a Democrat, from and representing the city of South St. Paul - in their corner.

You remember Metzen, he was pinched for
Driving Under the Influence with a Blood Alcohol Level of .15 in May of 2007.

Metzen also "got off" real easy on the DUI charges.

    Metzen...sent a letter to the Health Department late last month asking for its interpretation of the law regarding public vs private facilities that host support groups such as AA and Narcotics Anonymous.

    [...]

    "For some in recovery, smoking is all they have to fall back on," he said. "First of all, they've committed themselves to treatment, and they re trying to do good for their bodies and souls and families. And, quite frankly, I would think it's hard to give up one addiction. I don't mean to trivialize it, but what's next? Is it their coffee?"

    Metzen said he is considering introducing legislation that would allow some smoking at private clubs that offer meetings for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.

    Board member Jerry T., who [like members of AA] did not want to reveal his last name, said the smoking ban has affected the general mood inside the 301 Club, which began in 1962 after a group of 17 recovering alcoholics pooled their money and bought the building.

Well, good for Mr. Metzen. I support his efforts to redefine the Health Deparment's obvious faux-paus of "If a meeting is open to the public, the facility where the meeting is being held would be considered a public place during that time." And the rest of that time...the building is considered private and if people want to chain-smoke cigarettes they should have every right and opportunity to do so.

As I've written and posted to this link before, the negative health affects from second-hand smoke is specious at best, lacking consensus in the scientific community. This is the information zealots like Weigum and McFats will not address or acknowledge or allow themselves to debate. They simply run and hide, stammering falsehood when presented with this material.

Weigum and McFats have nothing better to do. Nothing. They are simple parasites who exist for no other reason than their self-righteous desire to intervene and impose their deceptive and bogus claims that second-hand smoke is a health hazard into the private property rights of others. And the rich, creamy, chocolaty, nougaty irony is they can do what they do because they are financed and funded by...money from the industry they show nothing but contempt for and so despise and loathe.

Here's an idea for Weigum and McFats; why don't both of you volunteer some of your time on a regular basis to clubs like the 301? Donate a half-day a week from now on to visiting a club where alcoholics and addicts meet to talk and help support each other. Make a fresh pot of coffee for them. Clean the tables. Bake a cake or some cookies and bring them to the club. Sweep the floor or vacuum the carpet. Visit with and listen to the stories from those recovering. Maybe Weigum and McFats can learn themselves some humility and compassion.

©2008

Linking Here:
Alcoholism Help For You

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