When did the word “free” come to mean something you can’t do? Like a “smoke free” Ontario really implies that you are not free to smoke. Even if it’s your own property and the smoke is from the cancer-curing cannabis plant.
Ottawa’s first and only vapour lounge, BuzzOn, was forced to accept this abysmal truth recently by closing down after a year in business.
Opening in April 2015, BuzzOn offered licensed cannabis patients a safe space to medicate, away from troublesome landlords, busybody neighbours and bylaw officers who prefer to keep the streets clear of smoke.
One of the founders of the lounge, Wayne Robillard, told CBC that the changes to the Smoke Free Ontario Act made business unprofitable.
Since the changes made it illegal to smoke or vape cannabis anywhere tobacco isn’t allowed, Robillard and his crew couldn’t risk the fines.
“It makes no sense to me that we can allow these things to operate for alcohol, yet we think we can control tobacco and you’re going to be so draconian about cannabis,” Robillard told CBC.
Indeed, vaporizers and e-cigarettes are safer than smoking tobacco products, and of course, cannabis is an entirely different ball game.
But, more fundamentally, what happens on private property should be no business of Queen’s Park, especially when the activity is peaceful and not harming any third-parties.
Considering that vapour, even tobacco vapour, is practically harmless, there should be no laws prohibiting vape lounges. And if a business owner can effectively limit tobacco or cannabis smoke from encroaching on neighbouring properties, then there is no reason not to allow indoor smoking.
The “Smoke Free Ontario Act” is just another brick in the nanny-state wall that is Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal Government.
And like how the US’s “Patriot Act” was far from patriotic, the “Smoke Free” act implies that you are not free to smoke.
Now, I’m sure the management of BuzzOn would love to stay open, but, as Robillard told the CBC, they wouldn’t be able to afford the fines from bylaw enforcement.
“If you’re willing to allow those fines to pile up and if you have the money to pay for the lawyers to fight them, great. But I have a day job, and as much as I like to think of myself as sort of a moderate activist, I have to keep a day job and I still have to earn a living so I can eat and keep a roof over my head as well,” he told state media.
He also told CBC that his clientele are sad to see the lounge close.
But that’s the price of voting Liberal.
Politicians dream up ways to control your life, overpaid government employees enforce it, and everyone (including the unborn) are forced to pay for it.
While guys like Wayne Robillard actually provide a service and rely on voluntary patronage, Kathleen Wynne writes laws no one wants and forces everyone to pay for it.
Wynne’s Liberal government runs up the deficit and puts entrepreneurs out of business.
This isn’t what builds free and prosperous societies. This is what undermines liberty and contributes to the erosion of wealth and respect for the law.