Greenhut Blowing Smoke – Dude, There Is No Fire!

greenhutI do understand that Steven Greenhut has been foaming at the mouth over Sheriff Hutchens’ CCW policy for months, but I think his rage is starting to get the best of him. Greenhut wrote Wednesday on his Orange Punch Blog a commentary titled First guns, now tobacco … the liberal sheriff strikes again!

He goes on ranting…

The Liberal Gun-Banning Sheriff is championing another liberal cause — the banning of tobacco among jail inmates. This is from the board agenda:

“Penal Code Section 4575, which became effective on January 1, 2008, prohibits any person housed in a local correctional facility from possessing tobacco in any form, or any related devices for smoking, consuming or storing tobacco.  This restriction only applies in counties where the board of supervisors has adopted a resolution or ordinance banning tobacco in correctional facilities.  The Sheriff-Coroner and the Chief Probation Officer agree that use of tobacco in Orange County correctional facilities constitutes a health and safety risk both to inmates and to employees of County correctional facilities, and request that the Board adopt the submitted resolution. 

“Pursuant to the proposed resolution, any person housed in a local correctional facility who is in possession of any tobacco products in any form, including snuff products, smoking paraphernalia, any device that is intended to be used for ingesting or consuming tobacco, or any container or dispenser used for any of those products, will be subject to a fine not exceeding $250.  Pursuant to the Penal Code, the proceeds of any fines collected will be deposited in the Inmate Welfare Fund.”

Greenhut goes on to assert that banning tobacco would create a “disciplinary nightmare” and that we should “expect more fights and disturbances in the jail system as the Nanny State Sheriff tries to ban cigarettes from jails.”

He closes his post with an update that had me rolling on the floor laughing my butt off.

In fact, tobacco and smoking have been banned by departmental policies for 10 years in jails, but only became enforceable as part of the penal code as of 2008. The issue remains the same: the sheriff’s department is trying to convince the board to ban smoking by statute so that it can crack down on cigarettes. The department could, if it wanted to, lift the smoking ban. The statute doesn’t require the county to have a ban. John Moorlach’s erudite chief of staff Mario Mainero cleared this up for me!

Actually Steven, it is the California Labor Code § 6404.5 prohibiting smoking in workplaces that caused smoking to be banned in Orange County jails. Professor Mainero, legal genius that he is, should have know that. And the proposed resolution simply allows the Sheriff to assess a fine against inmates who have tobacco, which they cannot use anyway because of a different California law.

So dude, where’s the fire? There is no liberal agenda here.

  7 comments for “Greenhut Blowing Smoke – Dude, There Is No Fire!

  1. RHackett
    February 26, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Steve has gone over the edge into moronic writings.

    I’m sort of glad. I know dozens of people who have quit the OC Register because of him. Full speed ahead.

    The demographic of OC has changed and the Reg has dug in its ideological heels. The sacred free market they embrace is sending a message but there is no receiver on Grand Ave.

  2. RHackett
    February 26, 2009 at 6:48 am

    And using Maneiro as a legal source?

    That’s just to special for words. The last brainchild of this man has cost the OC taxpayer over a million dollars (and counting) spent on a case that was a slamdunk. And it was. A slamdunk loser.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    February 26, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I’m sure the Hutchins would be surprised that’s she’s a liberal; she sees herself as a conservative and supported McCain for president.

    But it’s a deeper problem that Steve still equates “Liberal” with a dirty word.

  4. R. Scott Moxley
    February 27, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Geez. What are we becoming as a society? Next they’re going to ban groups of deputies beating the hell out of handcuffed inmates.

  5. Jim Green
    March 2, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Get rid of guns and society fails. It’s happened every time. Many times before.

  6. RHackett
    March 2, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Jim. How long does it take. The UK and Japan have had very restrictive firearms laws in place for some time.

    They don’t look like they are in danger of failing anytime soon.

  7. Lil truth
    March 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Look there is no inalienable Right to tobacco.
    That was what this post was about wasn’t it?
    While as a smoker I think it’s BS, I also understand that when you’re in custody you are a ward of the state, and ingesting chemicals known to the state to cause cancer is wrong from that perspective.
    I also understand that as a guard I might not want to be around a population of pissed off jonesing prisoners.

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