Where does it end indeed?
I just got back from the Republican Party state convention in Burlingame (where we held an awesome rally for Ron Paul -- see http://reason.com/blog/2012/02/25/hundreds-of-ron-paul-supporters-occupy-c for photos & video and a brief mention of yours truly!), where one of the GOP candidates for Senate told a Republican Liberty Caucus crowd his personal smoking-intolerance story.
The candidate, an old surfing rabbi with a foot-long beard (I swear I'm not making this up!), was apparently out on the beach in Malibu early one cold, drizzly morning having a smoke after catching some waves, with nobody anywhere nearby, when out of nowhere a sheriff's deputy comes jogging across the sand and tells him he has to put out his cigar. The rabbi said surely he must be kidding, and the deputy said no, put it out or I'll have to arrest you. The rabbi told us how much this incensed him, how American soldiers didn't die at Valley Forge and Iwo Jima "for some punk to tell me I can't smoke on the beach", and that he was "drawing a line in the sand".
I wish I could report that this man of the cloth was a big defender of personal choice, but while he did offer that he wouldn't arrest anybody for smoking pot, he also hypocritically opined a few minutes after telling his cigar story (in response to a question) that calls to end the drug war were a distraction from more important issues (i.e. education and the economy), at which point I had to give him a shout-out reminder that "tobacco is a drug too". Not sure whether that message sunk in or not, but the story does provide one more (as if more were needed) wryly amusing illustration of how out of control this health fascism has become, and how we can raise the issue as an argument for cannabis freedom.
My suggestion to the Rocklin homeowner would have been instead of going whining to the city council, simply buy a large, powerful outdoor fan, point it at your neighbors' yard, and turn it on whenever you smell smoke. Perhaps the neighbors would then complain about the constant breeze coming from next door, at which point the two parties could sit down and work out their dispute like adults. Expecting such a civilized yet assertive response from people used to turning to government to resolve all the minor annoyances in their lives might be a stretch, but you've gotta start somewhere.
At the risk of belaboring the point, all of this sort of thing is a direct consequence of this society's devaluation of property rights. Once we've bought into the idea that it's okay to tell other people what they can and can't do on their own property -- and your first and most valuable piece of personal "property" is your own body -- the potential for all manner of legal absurdities and petty tyranny knows no bounds.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))