The Morning News: Ban on Smoking in Parks Moves Forward, Olympia Heads into Another Special Session


ARRESTED for smoking in a city park? That is fucking crazy.

I'm not a smoker. I don't like to be around smoke. But ARRESTING PEOPLE FOR SMOKING IN A PARK? That is crazy.
@1. Well not exactly. Seattle Parks policy is verbal warning, two written warnings, and then someone could be arrested for trespass (i.e. not complying with the terms and conditions for use of a property controlled by another). If you tell someone don't come on the property if you are going to violate rules against drinking, smoking, excessive noise, (see laundry list of park rules) and they continue to do so, what is left? Physically remove them and tell them if they come back they will be arrested for trespassing. You could write them a citation, but Seattle Parks and SPD quit doing that for things like alcohol consumption because its a $27 ticket, there is no arrest if you don't pay it, and the people getting the tickets apparently don't care if the City turns them over to collections. So how else is Seattle Parks supposed to get compliance with the rules? If nothing happens when people don't comply and the rule breakers don't care about getting the "evil eye" from other park users who aren't amused by their behavior, what is left? Rules only protect the majority if someone makes them stick.
But when the hipsters grow old they can reminisce, "Yeah, I was in jail once...."
@2 so maybe if it's unenforceable it's a stupid rule. Kind of like the whole War on Drugs.
I call utter class war bullshit on the smoking ban. I don't even smoke and I'm gonna head out right now and light one up.
This is still yet another reason for our untrustworthy police to contact people who are doing little to nothing wrong. This is where harassment starts.
Good grief. Let people have a smoke outdoors. This is excessive government intrusion into our personal lives.
Yeah cause its so horrible when an building that'd been empty for 5 years finally gets used.
Kathleen Richards wrote in The Stranger about how worthless rules, without an effective enforcement mechanism, are at preserving parks for their intended and agreed upon uses.…

@4 You could make the same argument about speeding laws. Police write hundreds of thousands of tickets a year for speeding statewide every year, but people still speed. Your rationale that people still do ____ en mass means that we should stop prohibiting _____ has a major logical fallacy. If you are going to cling to it, at least be consistent. Let's have no speed limits anywhere and no enforcement to maintain some restraint.

How? Look, this isn't difficult. Making public spaces unpleasant for others shouldn't be permissible. Not having a private place to smoke (and why the hell is someone who can't afford a place to be spending money on cigarettes anyway?) doesn't entitle someone to smoke them at me. Not having a bathroom available doesn't entitle someone to urinate in public.

This isn't hard to understand for goodness sake.
@10, there were already reasonable restrictions on WHERE in parks people could smoke, which included near other patrons. This is an overbearing, unnecessary bourgeois law that was proposed and debated while more important things needed to be handled.

SB, your support of this is us hypocritical considering some of your other anti big government rants. So, restrictions are good for people but not corporations? Hypocrite!
@10: I thought you were a conservative against the excesses of big government. Taking a pee in public is not a worthy comparison. Second hand smoke outside is no threat to anyone. Sure, it bugs me when I get a whiff of it jogging, but so does a car exhaust. If you were down on your luck wracked with worry, and were a smoker, (or even a multi-millionaire out on a stroll) why shouldn't you be afforded that mini bit of pursuit of happiness?
@10: Well then, look who is advocating for the government to come in and tell people how to live. What other facets of life would you like the government to come in and control for private citizens?

Especially coming from a proud and admitted criminal lowlife like yourself.
Lusty Lady.

They'll have to powerwash the foundation for months.

All the seepage.

The enforceability argument is a red herring. No law is designed to prevent every infraction. Murder is against the law. But murder still happens. Are the statutes against murder "unenforceable?"

You're not allowed to drink alcohol in parks. You're not allowed to smoke weed in parks. People do those so called un-enfoceble things all the time.

Do we make all that legal? I see very few people arguing for allowing drinking in public parks (though I'd be for making it legal and have MUCh stricter laws on public drunkenness - but then you have dispirit complaining that targets homeless people again).

The real problem is smoking is unique in is destructiveness and in it's institutional corruption. It's less to do with smokers and more to do with the evil of the tobacco companies.

Smoking is unique in that it is a much higher health risk and a thousand times more addictive than either public drinking or public pot smoking. To have established publicly funded spaces that are open endorsements of one of the worst voluntary health risks in modern society is unethical as fuck.

Not to mention tax-payer funded spaces that basically underwrite one of the WORST, most corrupt, environmentally polluting, and evil industries on the planet - the tobacco corporations. Corporations who undermine health initiatives, rig fucking elections and bribe politicians in developing nations.

Here we are climbing into our Kayaks to protest Shell oil and other oil companies and how our governments collude with them. But allowing tobacco corporations to corrupt our publicly funded parks is juuuust fine? No.

The city should take a stand against tobacco companies. This is one way to do that.
@7 Nobodies saying people can't smoke outdoors. They're saying they can't smoke in public parks . People can smoke in private outdoor spaces all they want.

What are you babbling about? Corporations? What in God's name has that got to do with polluting public places with cancer sticks?

Oh, and fyi. Anyone who uses the term bourgeois as a critique has nothing to say worth hearing.

Oh look. Teddy is channeling the boy Venomlash. It's always nice when the children play well together.
@9 Yes, I could make the same argument about speeding laws, but I don't because I don't find them to be comparable. Outdoor second-hand smoke is annoying. Speeding causes traffic accidents which maim and kill. Not that similar.

Do you have an opinion on this pending regulation? or do you just like to critique blog comments?
Arresting people for smoking in public parks sounds like a great use of police time and resources that will force smokers to quit and multinational tobacco companies to fold like paper.

Or, the cops will end up issuing unpayable tickets to homeless people and then throwing them in jail for a few days, to the net-negative benefit of everyone. It could go either way, I'm sure.
The smoking ban in parks might not look like laughable bullshit if the Parks Department itself wasn't polluting the air with gas-powered leaf blowers. Why don't they take a stand against petroleum companies instead of tobacco companies?
@15 If I was legally allowed to grow tobacco in my backyard, and then dried it, cured it, and rolled it up myself, could I smoke in our parks occasionally?
Yeah, how dare they use the sperm-encrusted Lusty Lady building as something that may pump a few dollars into the local economy!

After a few eddibles and some beers at Madison park (illegal), nothing hits the spot like an American Spirit. One thing that really grinds my gears, though, is all the boat traffic on Lake Washington. If the sun is out, you're guaranteed an endless floatilla of watercraft dumping catalytic-converter free exhaust into the air and drifting into the park. Can we not ban boats? And what about the deranged music blaring from the shady Indian ice cream truck that comes by thrice an hour? My ears are suffering irreparable damage. Ban ice cream trucks!
Great, another month of legislators loitering in the capitol on the taxpayers dollar. It really pisses me off that they can just take our money and give us the middle finger day in and day out. Just waiting for the shit to hit the fan...
@19 Well second hand smoke does kill people. I have one child with Asthma. Tobacco smoke, for him and many asthmatics, is a highly potent trigger, even from 30 feet away. Even with that, I'm pretty agnostic about the rule.

More broadly, If we are going to have rules, we should enforce them. Will said enforcement eliminate violations? Nope. But it can and should curtail them, like drug enforcement curtails production, distribution, and use; although, treatment on demand would probably be a more effective strategy and would reduce reliance on interdiction and prosecution. Dialogue, back and forth, and public deliberation of public policies is helpful to arriving at societal decisions on public policy.

@22, If you did not create any negative impacts (externalities) on other's health, or you paid for other's asthma and cancer treatment as part of the cost of that production. Good luck with that.
I really don't give a shit if the homeless can't smoke in city parks, let the lazy mother fuckers walk ten feet and then light up. What did make me crazy is listening to some official on KIRO justify the ban by arguing that it was bad for impressionable children to see adults smoking. Really? Fuck you kids in the ear if seeing someone smoke is too much for their fragile minds. And I say this as the owner of two little shits myself.
I'm disappointed. I wanted people who smoke in parks to be shot on sight. As with most legislation, it came out somewhere in the middle so no one is happy.
@18: Um, everyone here knows you are a proud, admitted criminal. This is a public forum, and you said it quite often. Do you not remember?

Anyway, why didn't you answer the question? What other aspects of private life would you like government to step in and take control over? Surely this can not be the only thing.

Please cite anyplace I used the words "proud admitted criminal" and I'll buy your stolen schtick.

There are laws requiring me to behave at a detriment to my interests I properly refuse to obey. There are unconstitutional laws I proudly refuse to acknowledge. I do not and never will, for example, buy a financial tool not in my personal interests. And while they may regulate INTERSTATE commerce in no way can the jerks in DC compel me to engage in commerce. Nor do they have any authority in local commerce at all. None. You know, like my damn doctors office. And Der Fuhrer Obama and his gestapo will roast in hell before I comply with tyrannical Obamacare. I also reserve the right to conduct business with people of MY choosing. (Having decided to go to war on family and decency, fags and dykes need not apply for any business interaction with me for instance.) And the PC morons in the Peoples Republic of Seattle and of Olympia can join Obama in hell before I'll give them any say in that.

For the rest, what part of being an annoyance in a PUBLIC park is "private life?" Oh. Right. None of it.
@29: It is actually pretty easy to cite an instance where you proclaimed to be a proud criminal, since you did so in the line right after you claimed I could not find an example.

C'mon man, no one is this stupid. What's the game?

Also, so you believe nothing you do in a public place can be or should be private? What about talking to friends about topics you would not want broadcast? What about pissing in a public restroom? What other rights should the governmnt be allowed to strip you of in all public places? Speech maybe? How about religious practice? Please elaborate.
@29, That's an unnecessarily long and tortured way of saying you support laws and government interventions that don't affect your life and ignore and/or break the ones that do.
@ Teddy
You're mistaken. If a law is unconstitutional, as is Obamacare's mandate to engage in commerce it can't be a law. And refusal to follow it makes one a patriot rather than a criminal.

Put another way if Congress passed a law forbidding attending a church one could ignore it, and as a citizen duty actually should ignore it. Obamacare intrudes the feds into matters over which they have zero, zilch, no authority. So I ignore it.

And no. A conversation in a public place has no reasonable expectation of privacy. Tact and respect for others means we should ignore such conversations. But if @31 is discussing buying whatever he's high on in public? That conversation can be used to prosecute if a cop hears it.

This confusion you have between public and private behavior and what privacy expectations you have in either can be cleared up with a little research. I' d encourage you to do that.
It's quite sad to see seattleblues & raindrop in such bitter disagreement. They make such a cute couple.
@10: I'm actually more or less in agreement with Seattleblues here. (This isn't going to last; scroll down to see just how short it lasts.) If you can't afford a roof over your head, you really shouldn't be dropping $5 a day on an addiction that gives you cancer and doesn't even get you high. (To that end, I believe that homeless shelters and related agencies should offer cheap or free smoking cessation services to those they serve.) It's one thing to make it harder for the homeless to engage in basic biological necessities like sleeping or excretion, but nobody NEEDS to smoke.

@18: What, now anyone who points out that you proudly claim to have violated anti-discrimination law must be channeling Little Ol' Me? Flattering, but hardly accurate.
@29: "Please cite anyplace I used the words 'proud admitted criminal' and I'll buy your stolen schtick."
Puh-leeese, Seattleblues. If someone shouts out in public, "I killed that man in cold blood, and I'm glad I killed him!", they are a proud admitted criminal despite the fact that they did not use those words. They freely admitted to an act of lawbreaking and expressed gladness regarding that act.
Similarly, although regarding a less severe transgression, you admitted to an act of lawbreaking and expressed gladness regarding that act. That is, you admitted to refusing to renew the leases of homosexual tenants because of their homosexuality (source), which is illegal under Washington State code (source), and you expressed (self-)righteous pride in your action (source). Do you dispute any of those facts? Your only argument against any of that has been "I chose and choose to ignore laws" that you disagree with (ibid). And unfortunately for you but fortunately for civilization as a whole, one man's personal disagreement does not constitute a legal defense against a law passed by the people as a whole or by their duly-elected representatives.
@17, first off, sorry if I'm confusing you with ine if the other (increasing amount of) conservatives who keep commenting here.
That said, you seem to bitch about big government every time a restriction or tax is levied on corporations you bitch about big government, yet when government wants to place new restrictions on the "little people" you seem all hunky dory with it, that is why I mentioned corporations in my comments. Did I make myself clear?
As for your dismissive ness because of my use of "bougois", sorry, but the bougois and the genteel have been the driving forces behind smoking bans and other nanny state policies. Remember, one of America's first anti-smoking measures (in NYC) was proposed and pushed by a guy who had made a killing in the stock market, retired, and wanted to do something good. Because restricting adult behavior is better than helping the less fortunate, right?

Bougois, I tell ya!
BTW, I'm writing these rants against this ban as I am less than 24 hours into quitting. I finally realized that dolts like the above mentioned clueless do-gooder have done more to make smoking look attractive than Kieth Richards, Lou Reed, and the dudes who built skyscrapers in the 30's combined, and I have gained confidence that I can quit smoking without becoming one of those obedient bougois (there, I said it again) candyasses.

If you wanna do good in this world, help the less fortunate, pick up some litter, don't place even more petty unnecessary rules over people's heads.
@29 (cont.): "There are laws requiring me to behave at a detriment to my interests I properly refuse to obey."
So, you mean laws that ban you from insider trading? Or laws that require you to pay taxes? Or laws that ban you from slandering a rival business to reduce their market share and steal their customers away from them?
See, civilization doesn't work if all people have to do is follow their own immediate financial best interests. If it did, we could do away with laws entirely and let market forces take care of everything like some Libertarians advocate. LAWS ARE FOR THE GREATER GOOD OF SOCIETY, NOT TO PERSONALLY ENRICH YOUR BANKROLL, YOU AVARICIOUS TRAITOR TO YOUR COUNTRY.
If you wanna do good things for public health, make healthcare a right, facilitate healthy lifestyles by building more bike lanes, and working to wean the world off fossil fuels. Our profit driven healthcare system has killed and disabled more people than alcohol and tobacco combined IMO.
@22 Sure, Becuase you're special. We'll give you a special dispensation.

But of course you're not special. Because unfortunately 99% of the smokers out there are going to buy from RJR Reynolds because RJR Reynolds owns everything.

And of course there are sill other harms inflicted on other people by smoking in public. You won't be able avoid other people who may have asthma all the time. You won't police your butts perfectly all the time. In order for you to be the magical exception to what happens 99% of the time you, in effect, would have to be perfect.

You're not.

Look, all laws could be argued against with shit like that.

What you're making is a Perfect Libertarian argument that could be applied to any behavioral law. From drinking and driving to air safety. And it's just as flawed when libertarians make it as when you do.

Just like when smoking in bars and restaurants was banned, in five years we won't even remember what the controversy was. Everybody bitched and whined and found tenuous moral arguments why we shouldn't ban smoking in bars. And they were full of shit.

Smoking will be banned in parks and we'll not even remember what the big deal was only that suddenly being in parks is better.
Why is Real Change concerned about homeless getting a Smoking Ticket. When they should be concerned about why a homeless person is spending the money they begged for on cigarettes. And not on bus fare to/from job interviews.
Refusal to follow an evil law is patriotism, not criminality. Truly the rallying cry of criminals everywhere. The Founders did not shy away from their criminality, but rather embraced it. Why not do the same, Seattleblues? If these laws are so unjust, openly declare yourself a criminal in the public arena, gather your like minded constituents, and do something about these unjust laws rather than just typing masturbatory diatribes here on Slog.