Here’s a real case in the courts with real people we have been following since it began – the case of Bob Gee and Mader’s tobacco store. We sympathise and side with Mr. Gee not because we smoke or encourage smoking but because he is absolutely correct in defending his rights , and in so doing he defends ours.
How often does he and we have to say it. Tobacco is a legal product. The state has no right to restrict the conditions of sale so much that the product must be invisible. This is what Mr. Gee’s lawyer, Curtis Palmer, is arguing, along with basing the defense on the Charter.
Referring to the increasing restrictions on the sale of tobacco, Palmer said “it has gotten to the point where the camel’s nose in not only in the tent, but the whole camel is in the tent.”
And it won’t stop here. It is the thin edge of a very large wedge. Give an inch and other “special interests” will take a mile. The next thing we might be asked to do is to ban the sale of pets as they are considering doing in San Francisco [yes really!]. After all –
“People buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, don’t know what they’re getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and often are euthanized,”… “That’s what we’d like to stop.” [They say they would make an exception for fish – but how long would that last!?]
And Wolfville is the San Francisco of the north.
Mr. Gee and his lawyer intend to go all the way to the Supreme Court if need be, and we hope he does.
“This issue has legs,” said Palmer. “It had wide-ranging consequences for all vendors in the province . . . and it probably has a fair number of proceedings in front of it yet.”
The Cancer Society [which we refuse to donate to because they spend their time and money on this kind of lunatic advocacy instead of on research like they should] responded this way:
“… Mader’s is the only tobacco store in the province that is in violation of the regulations.
“We now have all 10 provinces and territories in Canada that have adopted legislation to ban visible displays . . . and compliance across the province has been excellent,”
Compliance under Franco and Mao was pretty good too. Doesn’t make it right.
“It’s about making sure that we continue to reduce tobacco use and create a healthier province.”
No it isn’t. If that were what they really cared about they would ban the product. And if they cared about children being seduced by advertising they would restrict the display of alcoholic and gambling products to the same extent.
This is about government control versus freedom. And anyone who cares about the latter better pay attention.