Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Three Branches For A Reason

Written by: J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director, Cigar Rights of America

The reason our forefathers created three branches of government with checks and balances was to provide a remedy for improper actions by either the legislative, executive or judicial branch. As cigar enthusiasts, we consider "improper action," as the over regulation of the ability to enjoy a legal cigar.

Lately, various governments have enacted smoking bans without proper thought and analysis on the economic and social impacts. This has spurred many cigar enthusiasts and business owners to take their fight to court - a costly process on all accounts.

In Louisville, Kentucky a case is being heard in court on the perceived unconstitutional exemption to the smoking ban by the world famous race track, Churchill Downs, and the impact to bingo halls, where smoking ban enforcement has lead to over 100 citations and even fines to their operators.

Just a couple of states west, in Dallas, Texas, the owner of Illusions bar is preparing his case against the recently expanded non-smoking ordinance that passed with a 10-5 vote by the city council. Eddie Bonner, owner of Illusions, says that "since Illusions does not have a patio and doesn't have the space to build one, ‘the city is putting me at an unfair competitive disadvantage against like businesses."

As everyone can now see, courts have now become the battleground for 'one of life's simple pleasures', which, sadly, include the enjoyment of a fine (and very legal) cigar. Because smoking bans are, literally, the result of 'flavor of the month' politics, it's going to take time to see where all of this goes. So, for now, this means one thing: Now is the time for cigar enthusiasts everywhere to fight for our freedom!

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