Ballot Time


Washington state voters approved initiative 901, imposing the nation's strictest anti-smoking regulations on Washington citizens. For years I've wished I could enjoy an evening of bowling or pub trivia without smelling like I'd wallowed in an ashtray, but lawmakers didn't seem willing to follow California's lead. Who knew all you had to do was bypass the lawmakers entirely and go directly to the people with an extreme ballot measure demanding even more draconian restrictions than the legislature would ever have passed on their own? Brilliant! I'm so inspired by this success, I've decided to draft resolutions for next November to shift life in Washington state closer to my own personal vision of utopia.

1. The Sound Sleep Initiative. Vehicle windows are prohibited from being rolled down if the stereo system in the vehicle is loud enough to be heard 25 feet away. Fines double after 11 PM. Directed EM pulses at key residential intersections fire automatically after 1 AM.

2. The I'm Standing Right Here Initiative. Retail employees are required to give higher priority to in-store customers than to people placing inquiries over the phone. The legally-mandated response shall become "I'm sorry sir/madam, but I'm currently with a customer who took the time to get off his ass and come into the store. He's running multiple errands and has places to be, so please continue to lounge in your bathrobe sucking down pork rinds and I'll get to you as soon as I'm done with this customer and the others who are waiting in line behind him."

3. The Condiment Initiative. All restaurants and food service establishments offering mustard as a condiment must offer spicy brown "deli" mustard instead of the florescent yellow variety. Honey mustard is also encouraged, but not required. All pizzas delivered to homes must come with red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese on the side.

4. All professional sporting events scheduled on weekdays shall begin prior to 5 PM to relieve rush hour traffic congestion.


I'm excited about being able to go play poker locally and not have to deal with coming home stinking of smoke and not having my throat ache for days. This will increase the number of places and times that I go out...

But one thing I'll do is still patronize the places I went that were smoke free. They did me a favor before they had to, so I'll do them a favor now.

That's a very good point, Jack. I wish I had paid a little more attention to what those places were. I know the places that I wanted to go but didn't because they were smokey (sunset lanes, murphy's pub and other bars, most card rooms, the doorways at work).

A question - are Indian casinos exempt from this law?

Yep, I believe those casions are exempt, and that was one of the major campaign points of No-on-901. The message was that non-exempt establishments would lose business.

I wonder if exempt places (e.g. tribal casinos) which were previously smoke free or had smoke free areas (e.g. tulalip casino's poker room) will now become smoke-un-free to maximize their competitive advantage against non-exempt businesses.

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