Editor's note: The following is an opinion piece from a Local Voices blogger and does not necessarily reflect the views of Midtown Patch.
Oy vey, we got a new tougher smoking ban in the City of Atlanta. The city gendarmes can’t even stop people from smoking weed or crack in the park. How are they going to stop tobacco smokers?
By the way, the ordinance does not ban consuming publically weed or crack. Like the state law, it specifically bans “tobacco products.” They got possession laws for the other stuff but feel free to smoke away that stuff. It’s all the same anyway, except too much tobacco actually kills people like too much crack can. From somewhere on the Internets:
Asked whether a citation would create a criminal record for teenagers or job-seekers who could ill afford it, a city attorney said violations would not be reported to the Georgia Crime Information Center.
Excuse me? I’m not a lawyer, just a paralegal with a certificate and a few years’ experience around The System™.
The way I understand it, in GA you have three levels of crime: misdemeanor, “high” misdemeanors, and felony. There is no such thing as a ‘violation’ in the Criminal Justice Code, is there? It’s misdemeanor, felony or GTFO the court. There is talk of creating a category called ‘violations’ but it is not law yet (do I have the attention of the Gold Dome? I thought not.)
How can you tell if there is tobacco in the smoking delivery device? What if it is clove? Will there be field drug tests for nicotine? How will one deal with the “chain of evidence? Will we have DNA testing on a butt to prove ownership?
How many ‘violations’ does one get before they are jailed? Can you be jailed on a ‘violation’ that is not a misdemeanor or felony? Even more confusing, state law classifies public smoking as a misdemeanor. Municipalities can make laws tougher but they can’t make state code weaker. Perhaps legal minds could offer us all clarity on this.
Now I am not a consumer of tobacco, but I’m not going to blow smoker here; this ranks up there with 2:30AM last calls, closing business in Castleberry Hill at 1AM, and…*gasp* PARK ATLANTA.
Note the exception to the rule: event venues owned and run by the city. Puff away! Because they care about your health, except when it may cause people to not buy tickets at their taxpayer supported venues north and south of downtown. Then, they don’t care so much.
Yes, oh fearless leaders (except for Shook, who strangely had a moment of clarity when it came to the concept of “police priorities”), this decision is going to go right down there with the ParkAtlanta contract as one of the most unpopular pieces of NannyTown™ lifestyle targeted legislation ever cooked up by Reed & Co®.
Won’t someone step up and take on these career councilmembers and make them explain in a public forum their rationale for telling you what is best for yourself? I ask because they are not your Nanny. Did you order a nanny? I didn’t. I want them to look you in the eye and lecture you on how they know what is best for you.
Sounds like ONCE AGAIN a gaggle of glorified do-gooding nanny state biddy hens were all up in the council’s ear, stirring up ridiculous legislation, taking the time of the council who has a myriad of real issues to deal with.
Sandy Springs tried this. It didn’t work. Atlanta City Council plays “follow the leader” all day long; perhaps they can follow Sandy Springs’ lead on this issue.
Rick to Biddy Hens: STAY AWAY FROM COUNCIL. THEY ARE BUSY.
Rick to council: WTF? GET BUSY!