As you know I am a local news junkie. I can't get enough of it. I listen to WNIR most of the day. I don't always agree with their politics but I've learned to "filter". Either way....There is something going on in Ohio that really gets me. It is the statewide smoking ban. Here is why. Last fall there were two things on the ballot concerning smoking in public places in Ohio. One was a "smoke less" Ohio issue. Basically it said that smoking would be banned in any place that children were allowed to go. Businesses like bars would still allow smoking. Interestingly enough 99% of the funding bill for issue 4 (the smoke less issue) was footed by R.J. Reynolds, the second largest tobacco company! Can you believe it? Why would they want people to smoke less???? Probably because there was another issue on the ballot during the same election. It was a "Smoke Free" issue, banning smoking in all public business and smoking within so many feet away from a business entrance. It was a pretty complicated bill. I had heard some conflicting stuff so I tried to research it myself (this is all pre-election). I found that the Smoke Free Ohio bill had not been completely written yet. They didn't know how they would enforce it and basically it was a mess. Howie (from WNIR) had pointed out that it stated family owned business could still allow smoking. When the "people" in Columbus heard this rumor was going around they called Howie's show and tried to argue with him. I thought it was dumb. Either way....I am not a smoker. Yes, I have smoked a cigarette or two (or more) in my life but I have never been a carry smokes with you type of person. I really could care less if people are allowed to smoke or not. In fact, my preference is that they don't smoke around me but I was a little wishy washy on they whole taking away people's rights thing. Ya know? When I was a waitress I HATED the smoking section. And by the way....when I was unfortunate enough to have the smokers for the evening - I NEVER made as much money. I worked in an upscale martini bar and yes people smoked there. I expected it and I don't think it ever bothered me (except those stinky cigars). When it came time to vote, I voted NO on both issues. I decided neither really had their stuff together and I didn't like either bill although, I would have preferred the Smoke Free Ohio.
After the election the votes were tallied and the Smoke Less issue failed. The Smoke Free issue passed. Isn't that interesting. The people had spoken and Ohio would be smoke free. Sounded good to me, even if it wasn't the way I voted. It went into effect on Dec. 7, 2006 - 6 months ago. And for 6 months I have had to listen to people whine and cry about the smoking ban. Complain, complain, complain....where were you when it was time to vote? I guess because it wasn't a presidential election these people didn't take the time to vote on something that would directly effect them. Who are these people to say the election wasn't good enough and now they want to put it back on the ballot. It drives me crazy. Only 53% of the eligible voters in Ohio even turned out for the election! And the thing is, I personally know many educated, adults who aren't even registered to vote! If you don't vote you shouldn't complain.
So that is my little rant. The people voted and now the cry babies are wasting our time to get this thing back on the ballot so more of our tax money can be wasted. I'm interested to hear what you think....or do you care? I know many of you don't live in Ohio but don't worry this controversy will be coming to your state soon enough.