Living with the health mullahs of British Columbia

Mullahs of British Columbia tell you what to doI am a non-smoker.

And as I wander past the Old Morris Tobacconist, on Government Street – Victoria, like hundreds of times over the last 25 years, I slow down to take in the wonderful smell of leathery tobacco and cigar products – merchandise that represents of all things: Being Male!

My wife even muses, “If you had the occasional cigar… I would be OK with it…”
Thank you, dear wife! This is one (of many) reasons why I love you so much: From time to time (but not too often), she lets me make up my own mind.

Not so in the province of British Columbia! God forbid we actually use our heads occasionally. Oh no. This society wants, no it needs, to be protected from decision making. We need to be protected… from ourselves. And the World around us.

And I here I am, walking past the tobacco shop… for the 4000th time in as many Saturdays of years gone by. Still not tempted. What I do love about adult products in this (apparently) adult World is knowing, at any time, I can have a flight of whimsy and turn right (or left) into the Old Morris and buy myself a big, fat and unhealthy cigar, pipe or cigarette.

Because the ability to see temptation and make up my own mind… Well, it is a wonderful thing. Because God… or whoever she is, gave us the ability to think these sweet temptations out and make up our own minds.
And although I have had the odd cigar and cigarette in my 40 plus years on the Planet, I have not been a regular (or irregular) consumer of tobacco products.

Now, after all these years of luscious free will, the glass windows at the front of Old Morris Tobacconists at 1116 Government St. have been frosted over. Owner-operator Rick Arora knows its not enough – he leaves the doors open. It is part of the draw… part of the experience of letting us make up our own minds.

But that has been taken away. Tobacco products in stores, like Rick’s Old Morris, have been forced to cover-up. Ostensibly to protect us and our children… from the evils of tobacco. New word: To-Burqa – meaning the shrouding of any tobacco product or smoking accessory.

So how about this… To those other Government Street tourist traps that taunt me: Enough with the vanilla waft of the waffle cone vendors! Take those ice cream cones out of the window!
And finally, a message to all grocery stores: How about covering up those displays of candy bars and junk food? I have never been able to resist the siren song of the Salt and Pepper potato chip… or peanut and chocolate in a deliciously satisfying bar.

And don’t get my started on all those coffee shops!

The mind. It was meant to be used… and tuned along the way. Do not let the government take yours away.