Jonathan Crimmins

Jonathan Crimmins

Now that the Town Council has voted to ban plastic bags from use in some situations with retailers around town and demonstrated that we as citizens are incapable of making choices for ourselves, I thought that we could add to the list. After all, if banning bags was for the good of the environment then surely, we can work on those things that are not good for us.

As a young man I remember working for Jim Cornelio doing landscaping around town. One of the places we visited often was the parking lot at Hannaford. Amongst the islands and curbing were mountains of cigarette butts. Those stubby little ends that had been smoked of nearly their last full measure of tobacco and their accompanying filters filled many a bucket for us. Fill it up, dump it out. This was the monotony of the moment.

Perhaps it is time to put a moratorium on selling cigarettes in town. I mean, at least with plastic bags there is a multitude of uses for them. When you add Styrofoam into the mix, the potential uses are endless and yet those items were banned as well. Cigarettes serve only two purposes, to prematurely age the person who is smoking and to kill them off far faster than they might ordinarily have passed on.

Sure, cigarettes are sold in stores in Brunswick, both large and small, and the economic bottom line for some retailers would be affected. However, this was also the case with banning plastic and Styrofoam and the citizenry was told that the cost would be insignificant compared to the benefits.

If the Town Council banned cigarettes from being sold in Brunswick we would almost be a perfect place. No more litter being flung from an idle car window at a stop light. No more clouds to walk through on Maine Street, well, at least from tobacco. By golly, we could have a smokeless utopia.

There is no reason to stop at cigarettes either. Council Chair Harris, in addition to the recent vote on plastic bags and my proposed ban on cigarettes, can you please suggest a ban on the selling of beer and alcohol in Brunswick? Make the town dry. This would help protect us from ourselves even more.

Of course, I doubt this endeavor would get the support from at least one of our State Representatives. The purported purveyor of sudsy liquids would definitely feel the pinch if she could not place her house of booze in Brunswick.

Alcohol, just like cigarettes, has no real redeeming qualities, right? Drunk driving and poor behavior are all by products of using alcohol.

It should be banned. In fact, just this past weekend there was a gentleman who was arrested near the vaunted halls of the Council after threatening people as he came out of a local saloon. Now, I have no idea if he was legless or not, but it seems likely.

Even when used correctly there are a number of poor outcomes that can occur while using alcohol. Even the most cautious among us can run afoul of the creature. Kipling was correct in noting, “there comes a night when the best get tight…”

The Council has started us all down a road where we must be protected from ourselves. If we let them have the power to dictate every facet of our lives that we now take for granted they will. The other option for the Council is to put as much faith in us to make a choice, whether it is good or bad, as they do when they are asking for our vote. Come to think of it, maybe that is our problem.

That’s my two cents…

Jonathan Crimmins can be reached at j_ [email protected]


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