Ohio: Definitely vote NO on issue 4!
Issue 4 is just one example how big business influences government policies in very negative ways. Backed by the smoking industry, issue 4 aims to add an amendment to the Ohio constitution that bans state, city and property owners from making laws/rules banning smoking. It also goes as far as to define where smokers may smoke. The amendment implies that citizens cannot be banned from smoking in such areas such as nursing homes and private residences.
The idea of allowing citizens to smoke in designated areas of restaurants, bars, private residences, etc… sounds okay, but think about it! The wording of this amendment implies that citizens are permitted to smoke in these areas. Even if the restaurant has a no smoking policy, they could, if pressed, have to provide a smoking area in their business. Being forced to comply for people who are physically handicapped is one ting, but being forced to comply for people to participate in a recreation in their place of business is just messed up.
The first sentence uses the phrase ‘allow smoking in these areas’ and then goes on to list many types of areas, business and private property. Other Amendments that use the word ‘allow’ imply that you are given permission to do what ever it is that is specified. Noted from the League of Women Voters of Ohio (http://www.lwvohio.org/), ‘This amendment would impose uniform smoking standards around the state’. Yes, if you are a business owner, rent out property, or want to visit your grandmother in the rest home, you will have to abide by this law and allow smoking.
I will not even touch the fact that this is an Amendment. If this issue passes, the only way the Amendment can be over turned is by another Amendment which would take at least a year to vote on.
There are other issues on the ballot this November in Ohio that are written in a very shady way. It really saddens me that someone or some company with enough money can create such deceiving legislation. These companies and citizens, where ever you are, should be ashamed to call yourself Americans. Our children and grandchildren will look back at these things and think we grew up in the most selfish, self centered society. I will regret the day when my grandchildren sit on my lap and ask me about the times when citizens didn’t use reason and compromise to solve societies problems, but we used greed and the need to make money to drive the laws we live by. Hopefully my children and grandchildren will live in a better society than this.
In closing, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you vote NO on issue 4. Put it this way, if you vote yes on issue 4, then that means you are either an idiot or you actually want to be the a-hole smoker that lights up in a previously smoke free restaurant. If you think you get dirty looks now for smoking in public, if this amendment passes and non smokers figure out they were deceived, you will see a huge voter backlash that may be much more severe than issue 5 is.
Now issue 5 is a state wide smoking ban for public businesses and places of employment. You can still smoke in your home, smoke in your car, smoke outside at lunch. If these terms seem to be a fair smoking ban for you, then please vote yes on issue 5.
More information about Issues 4 and 5 may be found here: http://www.smokefreeohio.org/oh/