Johnson County municipality Greenwood is prepared to pass their smoking ban ordinance tonight. It would be one of the most restrictive I've seen in our state.
The issue of city employees' smoking habits arose when considering smoking in city-owned vehicles. The conversation went further, to extend to employees using their own vehicles, but conducting city business. From the Indy Star report:
According to Greenwood City Attorney Shawna Koons-Davis, the ban would prohibit smoking -- "if you have to use your vehicle for business."
But Councilwoman Jessie Reed, who spearheaded the initiative, said the ban would be limited to vehicles the city owns.
"Anyplace that has something to do with the public," she said. "I don't think we're quite that Gestapo."
So, according to Reed, Greenwood is willing to be Gestapo, but not that Gestapo. Wow.
I know that in retrospect, Reed will be hating the fact that she said this. It's a Freudian Slip on the grandest order.
That must be reassuring to the good people of Greenwood, for the business owner who believes he should have the right to set his own policy within the four walls of his business, and for the person who believes her car is her property, no matter who it is serving at any given moment.
Never wonder why Indiana drives people away. Sure, I like smoke-free environments. I don't smoke, and never have. But this is a heavy price to pay for smoke-free environments. Why must civil liberties always be the first thing to hit the curb in the quest for a solution to a problem? Why is force the first thing governments turn to? The arguments against smoking are compelling enough. Can't we let it go at that?