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Sunday, September 10, 2023

Tobacco, Bad... Weed, Good?

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Tobacco, Bad... Weed, Good?

JOE SOUCHERAY | Pioneer Press ( – Where to smoke the weed, now that it’s legal, seems to be the current preoccupation of the St. Paul City Council, whose members, had they been young enough, would have made their activist bones complaining about cigarette smoke and where exactly you couldn’t smoke them.

Times certainly change. Around here, the times are changing at lightning speed. Just a few years ago, secondhand cigarette smoke was thought to be as dangerous as nuclear waste or a spill of strychnine. The state sued what came to be derided as Big Tobacco. Lawyers got so rich that BMW dealerships ran out of cars.

Smokers were shamed and ridiculed and made to stand outside on 30-below days. No-smoking sections sprang up in restaurants. Your clothes stunk and your skin wrinkled.

Today? Today the weed is looked upon so favorably by the DFL political youngsters who experienced some urgency in legalizing it that you are allowed to have 2 pounds of the stuff at home and I guess enough in your pocket or purse to get through the day, recreationally, of course.

Today? The big question is where it might be enjoyed. Factions on the council are pretty much wide open. Mitra Jalali, for example, who can fret about the damndest things, is particularly worried about renters who can’t afford a yard to sit around in and have a toke. And God forbid if anybody, especially people of color, ever encounter Johnny Law for a violation of whatever guidelines they might come up with. A final vote on the where will be Sept. 20.

As for people of color, the legalization is so wrapped in a sheen of equity that it stands to reason that if the stuff is now legal, let’s lay off everybody. The days of going to jail for having a few seeds on your person are over. Good. Unfortunately, this same young political class — not your father’s DFL — is ending the days of going to jail for just about anything that used to be a crime. They have themselves convinced that a stolen car is the car’s fault.

For now, the proposed ordinance would prohibit smoking marijuana in public parks, on school playgrounds and within 25 feet of windows and doors of city-owned spaces and places of private employment. Ah, but the wide-open faction worries that renters, low-income residents and people of color cannot afford a petty misdemeanor if caught violating the ordinance. They doth protest too much. Does anybody really think the cops, who are stretched thin now trying not to arrest anybody, will be looking to bust somebody standing 24 feet from a building entrance?

Our worthies might not be up it, but they really should leave the parks alone. Those big Bob Marley joints really stink and you don’t want a bunch of little kids playing soccer to get a contact high and start looking for food.

It is already terribly obvious that people are taking advantage of legalization to smoke in their cars. You can frequently be following somebody leaving the trailing odor of a skunky beer. Also, they are driving about 10 mph.

How did this happen? How did we become such a haven for dope after years and years of stigmatizing cigarettes, pipes and cigars?

It’s simple, really. We have elected enough people who intend to revolutionize what we once knew as our lives.

Tobacco is manufactured in factories by evil patriarchal corporate elites who only care about stock prices.

Marijuana is grown and nurtured by anti-capitalist naturists who spend their weekends slipping long-stemmed tulips into rifle barrels.

See Michael Matt’s take: FAKE NEWS & POT SMOKE: Pope Francis, Justin Trudeau Accused

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Last modified on Sunday, September 10, 2023