I 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 â€¦ the liberal sheriff strikes again!
He goes on ranting…
The Liberal Gun-Banning Sheriff is championing another liberal cause â€” the banning of tobacco among jail inmates. This is from the board agenda:
â€œPenal 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.Â This restriction only applies in counties where the board of supervisors has adopted a resolution or ordinance banning tobacco in correctional facilities.Â 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.Â
â€œPursuant 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.Â Pursuant to the Penal Code, the proceeds of any fines collected will be deposited in the Inmate Welfare Fund.â€
Greenhut goes on to assert that banning tobacco would create a â€œdisciplinary nightmareâ€ and that we should â€œexpect more fights and disturbances in the jail system as the Nanny State Sheriff tries to ban cigarettes from jails.â€
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 sheriffâ€™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 doesnâ€™t require the county to have a ban. John Moorlachâ€™s erudite chief of staff Mario Mainero cleared this up for me!
Actually Steven, it is the California Labor CodeÂ Â§ 6404.5Â 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.