Officials with New York State's park system have lifted a smoking ban at parks, beaches and historic sites.
The without actually having a law properly in place to do that. A smokers' rights group protested and the state backed down. The issue involves a technicality and a public comment period and more bureacratic red tape than is worth recounting.
The real issue is, of course, is why does the state, any public entity, think it can unilaterally impose its morality and private agenda on the public? It is one thing to ban smoking in private restaurants; it's quite another to try to ban smoking on the entire span of a 6-mile-long oceanfront public park that is Jones Beach.
(The latter was unenforceable. People smoked openly on Jones Beach the last two summers without consequences. Park police have better things to do.)
The Long Island Rail Road, for example, got a state law passed recently to
Since then, the LIRR has also decreed a on its weekend trains. What's next, breathalyzer tests for riders?
It's likely the controversy will continue until the political landscape changes. That's what happened when the complete failure of Prohibition was repealed. The government had bigger problems to deal with in Depression-era 1933.
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