Posted by: Genny Colby | April 2, 2012

Smoking…

When I was growing up one could still smoke in buildings, restaurants had smoking sections, and I think about 75% of all the adults I knew, smoked.  Including my parents and my best friend’s mother, who had already had one scare of lung cancer!  My mom could even smoke in her office at our church.  For a long time it was just how it was…no one thought much of it.  But as I grew older, I started to notice how much I hated it.  I tried it once…when my best friend and I stole a pack of her mom’s cigarettes one day.  After about 2 puffs I concluded that those who elected to smoke were actually pretty whacked in the head!

Then society started to take notice that maybe not everyone wanted to be around cigarette smoke and smokers.  Smokers now have to move outside in most places of business, restaurants have gone smoke free, and I don’t allow smoking in our home.  I will say that I think that the “no smoking in a business” should not apply to cigarette or cigar bars.  I assume that anyone who goes into those places knows what they will be exposed to and is electing to go in because they WANT to smoke.  And I don’t have to go in, so everyone wins on this one!

I get that smoking is legal and it is a personal choice.  But so is NOT smoking.  And I don’t want to be around it.    What I don’t get it why smokers get so upset that they can’t smoke where they want to…but they assume that I want to be engulfed with their clouds of smoke just so they can get a fix?  And how hard is it to throw your cigarette butts in the trash and not on the ground?

We now live in a state that medicinal marijuana is legal.  And the debate to make recreational marijuana is now on.  I have some serious  reservations about this because smoking marijuana DOES effect your reflexes, your thought process, etc.  You are under the influence of some substance, similar to alcohol.  How do you regulate that?  At what level are you too impaired to handle basic life task and be safe, such as driving?  And how do we test for those levels?  Unlike alcohol, marijuana stays in your system for days, or weeks depending on your level of use.

But on a more personal level, I am mostly  opposed to legalizing marijuana because, again, it often infringes on my right NOT to be exposed to it.  We have a neighbor that either legally or not, spends many of his spring/summer/fall nights sitting on his porch…smoking marijuana.    Which then causes us to have to close our windows in order to keep the smoke/smell out of our home.  Why do I have to live with my house shut up or not sit outside and enjoy my backyard on those nice nights simply because he feels he has the right to smoke marijuana?  I can’t play loud music, or have a compost bin because those things may disturb our neighbors but he can permeate our neighborhood with smoke that disturbs me?  And as a parent, this is not something I want my children exposed to either.  We won’t get into the effects of second hand smoke today.

So am I being unreasonable?   Am I forcing my preferences not to smoke on someone else by telling them not to smoke?  And how is that different than others forcing their preferences to smoke on me?

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