One of the problems with the Initiative Process is that sometimes, an imperfect law can be passed by the majority(as opposed to the Legislative Process, where imperfect laws are passed by people voted in a by a majority). Back in 2005, Initiative 901 was passed in Washington which outlawed smoking in ALL public spaces(well, except for Indian Reservation property). This included ‘private rooms’, card rooms, and cigar bars, which many other state recognized as being common sense places to continue to allow smoking.
Now, in a move that I’m sure has
everything nothing to do with lowered tax revenues from smokers, the Washington State Legislature is working to instill a a little common sense. For a low, low $17,500 annual you can get a ‘Cigar Lounge Endorsement’ (only the first 100 need apply!) or for $6,000 you can be one of 500 people to get a ‘Tobacco Retailer Endorsement‘.
The purpose of these endorsements is to ‘help out local business hurt by the smoking ban in 2005’ according to generic ‘supporters’ in the Seattle Times article.
It has NOTHING to do with the almost $5 Million that would be raised by these annual fees. You can tell it has nothing to do with helping the 'small businesses' because if it did, the State could have modified the Initiative wording 2 years after it passed...but they didn't need the money THEN.
Whatever…it all comes back to the State doing what it can to get theirs. For the life of me, I can’t see why they would place limiting numbers on these ‘endorsements’ other than to prevent EVERYONE who owns a bar from calling it a ‘Cigar Lounge’