Not Even Close
Deep down, I was pretty well convinced that the smoking ban would pass. Those of us who opposed it from the beginning, when it stood to be the most restrictive ban in the United States, are pleased to a minor degree that at least this law was beaten back to the extent it was. But, word was that this vote would be close. It gave opponents of the ban a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, the Council would vote in favor of liberty. Alas, the final tally was 18-9. Indy Star story.
However, this vote was every bit as much a referendum on the right of business owners to set their own policies within their own establishments as it was a public health issue. The way the authors of the law set it up, it really was an either/or proposition.
So, thank goodness I left Marion County just about one year ago to the day. Don't get me wrong- I don't smoke. I find it a detestable habit. In the spirit of Voltaire, I don't like smoking, but I'll defend the right to use the legal product tobacco. I don't care for smoggy bars, but I'll defend the right of bar owners to have that atmosphere, if they so choose. The City-County Council is not nearly so open-minded or tolerant as that, so they ban things. That is the atmosphere I am pleased to have left.