Tobacco: In Wake of Smoking Ban in Bars, Restriction on Strip Clubs, Underground "Smokehouses" Appear in Cleveland

Ah, the unintended -- if not unforeseeable -- consequences of prohibition. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Sunday that in the wake of a crackdown on strip joints and smoking in bars, a new, if shadowy, presence has made itself known on the back streets of the city: the smokehouse. These unlicensed premises offer what legal clubs and bars cannot: a place for tipplers to smoke while they drink and watch strippers after midnight. Vice cops say they also provide a haven for prostitution.

The smokehouses are a response to laws that took effect last year banning smoking in public places and nude dancing after midnight.

One Cleveland vice detective, Tom Shoulders, compared the smokehouses to the gin houses of the Prohibition era. "You put too many restrictions on people, they're going to find someplace else to go for their entertainment," he said.

According to what snitches are telling the cops, the smokehouse patrons, mainly suburban white guys, bring their own liquor, cigarettes, and cigars, while doormen at the clubs collect entry fees of up to $25 for a "buffet."

"They have succeeded in creating this underground, sleazy, cash-only business that cannot be regulated, taxed or secured by police," said Skip Lazzaro, an attorney who represents legal nightclubs in court -- although it isn't clear if he should be referring to the proprietors and clients or to the legislature.

While the combination of after-hours strippers and underground smoking is a new twist, the smokeasy isn't. In fact, smokeasies, or clubs that covertly allow smoking despite laws prohibiting it, seem to pop up just about everywhere smoking bans do. From New York to San Francisco, and many places in between, you can find them... if you only know whom to ask.

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What a surprise. We knew these things were going to happen. And now our local and national elected officials can spend our tax dollars trying to clean up our cities, much like the loosing DRUG WARS.

I never thought I would hear

I never thought I would hear of underground smoking rings.

Forget smoking bans, promote the mini-utensil!

The public, realizing the dangers of tobacco but also taken in by scare warnings against cannabis, has supported this wave of legislation to ban "smoking" with results deplored by commentators.

The irony is that legalizing cannabis just might be the key to a drastic reduction in tobacco use (and related expensive diseases) without need for laws invading anyone's personal right to smoke (or vaporize). Cannabis legalization would bring with it de facto legalization of (a) vaporizers (state of the art harm reduction but expensive, thus limiting their popularity) and (b) mini-toke utensils (one-hitters) which reduce the smoking portion from hundreds of milligrams per "joint" or cigaret to 25 mg. per toke-- maybe not quite as good as a vaporizer but nearly so, and you can make one in your garage out of materials costing pennies or found in your neighborhood..

Once cannabis users are secure and unmolested in their responsible, moderate use with the help of these utensils, the way is free for millions of tobacco cigaret addicts, now torching up 700 mg. (10 "puffs") every time they want "a smoke", to imitate wise individuals in the cannabis community by switching from 700-mg. hot-burning overdose to 25-mg. paper-free single toke.

It is my contention that the Big Tobackgo genocide industry already knows this, and pours money into projects to prevent or delay cannabis legalization, such as media scare-ads and campaign donations to elect legislators who hold the hard line against cannabis or against "paraphernalia" (i.e. paranoia-infernal-alien-- anything less American than a hot-burning overdose).

DRCNet should promote legislation stipulating that citizens may use any herb, including tobacco and cannabis, provided they possess and use a dose-miniaturizing safety utensil. This won't help the profits in the tobacco overdose marketing industry or the cannabis smuggling industry but it will benefit the health and work life of millions of citizens who are users of one herb or the other.

This is not small potatoes-- if cannabis users or partisans can wind up sharing credit for a massive reduction in tobacco user deaths-- now estimated at 5.4 million per year-- well, at the very least David can get a $1.5 million Nobel Prize to be invested in programs helping cannabis users worldwide.


Personally if very good quality american made vaporizers were availible via the state, and a very specific amount designated by scientists to achieve the active THC count for the day then I would be completely fine getting certain doses a week and having specific quantities (a bud a day in flasks) to vape and achieve the maximum THC count for the day.

Otherwise you can smoke 4 or 5 joints in a day just to do the same thing. That is a lot of herb and a lot of paper/glue-gum.

I think that a state/federal funded system like that would work nicely to curve the death tolls of chemical drugs.

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