Pubdate: Thu, 08 May 2003
Source: Courier, The (LA)
Copyright: 2003 Houma Today
Author: Brett M. Trahan


Just recently I read that state Rep. Damon Baldone introduced a bill to the 
Legislature that would require teen-agers who are caught smoking to lose 
their driver's license. This is an absolute outrage.

Does Baldone think this is a police state, or Iran where a dog groomer who 
gave a poodle a bad haircut had his hand cut off, or Iraq where a man who 
cursed Saddam Hussein had his tongue removed? Although smoking a cigarette 
doesn't seem a crime to me, the punishment should fit the crime. I guess 
for a second smoking offense he would want to remove the first two fingers 
from each hand and for a third offense remove both the upper and lower lips 
from the face of the offender. Heaven forbid a fourth offense ... the death 

As long as cigarettes are manufactured, people will smoke them. As long as 
booze is around, people will drink it. As long as marijuana grows, people 
will smoke it. When I say people, I mean adults as well as children.

Perhaps Baldone should spend his time and the taxpayers' money on ideas 
that will improve the economy, feed the hungry, house the homeless, improve 
education, fix the roads and punish the real criminals, and not on making 
laws that would only hurt the people who pay his salary. Yes, children pay 
his salary, too, every time they buy anything.

I guess this legislation will require a new tax to pay for the cigarette 
police. I hope the voters of Terrebonne Parish remember his silly antics 
and Gestapo tactics when his seat comes up for re-election. As for me, I 
wouldn't vote for Baldone for dogcatcher!

I hope other members of the Legislature are not as dumb as Baldone. But you 
never know . look at the condition of this state.

Brett M. Trahan

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