Friday, June 30, 2006

Let My People Smoke: A Modest Proposal.

I am still bugged by the idea that it's against the law to smoke in bars around these parts.
Yes, Los Angeles is one of the places where there is no smoking indoors. I don't smoke. I think it's stupid to smoke. So I won't smoke in a bar. And if I owned a bar, I'd forbid people to smoke in it, so I could attract a non-smoking clientele.
But you can't protect people from themselves. Presumably people who frequent bars know that alcohol is bad for them, and preventing them from doing another thing that is bad for them is ridiculous. And we tried prohibiting drink, and look what happened to us there... a legacy of reckless constitutional amendments and gangster movies.
And I'll go further. With world population on the rise, we can't afford the luxury of saving people from themselves. Self-destructive behavior may just be an instinctual reaction to the herd-thinning impulse. If smokers shave 20 years off their lives, doesn't that leave more resources for the non-smokers? Isn't addiction an inherited behavior? If so, how will the species ever rid itself of the gene if we keep smokers alive, allowing them to breed?
So let's open up the bars to smokers again. And the opium dens. And while we're at it, repeal the helmet laws. I need a little space, people.

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