Total smoking ban on Asbury Park boardwalk is a good idea (Opinion)
I am generally opposed to smoking bans in outdoor spaces. Even when they imposed the smoking ban on bars and restaurants, I thought the state was going too far. So did a lot of restaurant and bar owners. But the total collapse of their businesses, what they feared most, never happened. People adapted.
Business went on without interruption and the usual anti-smoking whiners finally shut up. Life was good. Then towns and counties started banning smoking in public places like parks, beaches and boardwalks.
Hold it right there.
Even if you believe in the myth of second-hand smoke being a danger, surely you must be insane to think it has any effect outdoors. Of course, it doesn't, but again the whiners and the pandering politicians who just want them to shut up and go away made it so.
Asbury Park has just banned smoking weed and cigarettes on their boardwalk. Here's the difference this time: Smoking weed is now legal, so the cool people who want to smoke in public are upset that the powers that be are infringing on their rights, and they are.
But here is why I don't mind the ban on smoking in public places when it comes to weed. I'm all for recreational weed being legal, have been for decades. I don't smoke it, but I absolutely don't mind if you do.
It's just that when you're in a public place and you smell some of that skunky weed, it makes the whole atmosphere seem trashy and seedy. Now I may change my mind over time as we all get used to smelling it everywhere. But we're so conditioned to associate it with a disregard for order in society, it just seems out of place to be walking down the boardwalk with your kids and smelling people openly smoking pot.
I have to admit, I hate myself for feeling this way because this is how all the former liberals, now leftists, get the government to ban things and make more laws. It's an EMOTIONAL reaction and we should not be guided or lead by our emotions when it comes to most laws in the state.
Could I be turning into a typical New Jersey left-leaning, over-reaching, "there oughta be a law" loser? God help me!
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis Malloy's own.