ND Cops Not Exactly Enthusiastic About Enforcing New Smoking Ban


North Dakota’s absurd new assault on property owners and smokers is going to create some headaches for law enforcement personnel tasked with policing it. And as you can tell from this CBS affiliate news report, they’re just thrilled about it.

“I think law enforcement is really strapped all across the state with resources,” said Mandan Deputy Police Chief Paul Leingang.

“Call the police, yeah we can come and respond but there’s a good chance that by the time we get there that person is going to be gone,” said Sgt. Mark Buschena of the Bismarck PD.

KXNet – Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson

Don’t our cops have better things to do with their time than to serve as enforcers of the nanny state?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • The Fighting Czech

    How does this law work? Does the Cop need to see you smoking? or does he just need to take someones word for it? if he does just need to take someone at their word. Does this get into a whole big court thing?

    Really, I think you smokers could really drive a lot of these anti smoker nuts crazy with this law It would almost be worth it to start smoking!!!!

  • SportsDoc

    For the most part, law enforcement is not who is responsible for the enforcement of this law.

    The Public Health people in ND are going to be the first line of response, and that response will be to educate the owners of offending businesses as to what the law actually says, and how to deal with those who may not comply, which starts with not serving them if they do not comply with the law after being asked not to smoke in the establishment.

    The second step, if the first attempts do not work, is to document a noncompliance event and report it to the State’s Attorneys office, who then is responsible for followup and imposition of fines and penalties.

    It isn’t unless both of these don’t result in compliance that law enforcement is asked to respond. I have a hard time believing law enforcement will be a significant player in the enforcement of this law.

    • dlao

      For the most part, law enforcement is not who is responsible for the enforcement of this law.

      Now that is an interesting statement.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      “For the most part, law enforcement is not who is responsible for the enforcement of this law”

      That mat be one of the scariest aspects of this law.

    • RCND

      Nothing defines scary better than a public health nurse trying to shake down a bar owner

  • sbark

    Couldnt we have volunteer viligante left wing militant groups in Woodrow Wilson brownshirts roaming private business, armed of course during the night to enforce this…………and during the day these same eco-warriors could be given unlimited power by EPA to roam the oil fields, back lots of industrial business to look for 4 oz oil spills……..
    ………..its all for our own good of course, The public is just too stupid to know what to do with their private property……..this could be a job source for all the soft study left wing grads that cant find a job in ObamaVille.
    …..and of course, they could receive online training to spot ObamaCare violations in the future.

  • WOOF

    Oil industry and Tobacco industry defenders,
    same guys, different hats.

    • headward

      Defenders of freedom and liberty.

      • WOOF

        Corporate liberty to harm people for profit.

        • Mike Peterson

          Have you tried used something that is not intended to benefit your health, whether mental, emotional or physical? I’m sure of it.

          • WOOF

            Stuck on women and Jameson Irish Whiskey. There’s arguments as to which is worse for you.

          • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

            You know, Jameson is made by an evil corporation, Poodle.

        • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

          Or, the liberty of individuals to choose unhealthy (but often delicious and pleasing) habits even though they’re not very healthy.

  • DelawareBeachHouse

    Given the steady flow of money to tobacco prohibitionists, it should be a simple matter to create a new agency with deputized personnel who can line every main street in North Dakota to enforce this law. Give them shiny black boots and we’re set!

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      Please, don’t give them ideas.

  • JW-American

    Holy Crap, The Gov wants to hire a pile of Highway patrol officers just to keep our Highways a bit safer and to protect the roads themselves from being harmed by overweight loads, Our sheriffs offices are understaffed as they are tasked with patrolling more and more county roads and in some cases taking over thepolicing of smaller towns which can no longer retain their own police forces. The Police departments in the East are being asked to patrol more and more areas of town as car prowling and other petty crimes cream into otherwise quiet out of the way neighborhoods.

    So now, on top of all that, I suppose we need to add officers that can respond on a moments notice to zoom across town lights a flashin, and sirens awailing because someone lights up a heater within 20′ of a flipping doorway? ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?

    Might as well staff up a quick response tactical team, maybe a muliti million dollar federal grant from Sec.of Heath Kathleen Sebelius, maybe their are funds availble in the ObummerKare budget.

    We need a Big Narley Black truck bullet proof glass, and a top turret mounted water cannon to put out those cigarettes.

    I can see it now, not to far off in the Armageddon of a liberal future…

    Six guys out back of a welding shop, around 9:30AM, having a cup of coffee from their thermos and a smoke, quietly move to the wrong side of the docks to stay out of the harsh north wind. The self appointed brown-shirt from accounting looks out her 3rd story window and calls 911, which is immediately relayed to HHS in Washington DC, a HHS drone is sent over and verifies the situation, moments later the CRASH team pulls up as if out of nowhere… The 6 vanish from the jobsite and are not seen again: to re-appear years later from the smokers re-education facility 6 located in central Nevada…

    Meanwhile in Current day, Potheads celebrate legalization in the streets of Washington State by lighting huge joints loaded enough pot to get you sent away for a year just days before the legalization.

    What the hell has happened to our Country?

  • RCND

    As mentioned before…

    I envision “smokemobs” starting up ala the flashmob craze. Text message goes out to gather in front of (or perhaps inside of) a particular establishment on a busy night, say closer to closing time when cops are already swamped with real public safety concerns. 50 would be a good number, but more are welcome.

    At the appointed time, everyone fires up. If and when the cops show, they scatter only to gather again at another establishment to do it all over again. Fun times

  • WOOF

    Obtaining police enforcement of smoking laws is simple.
    Call 911 and say:
    “I think they’re smoking marijuana,

    bath salts/ meth /heroin, at the Dew Drop Inn”
    Resistance is futile.
    Try not to get shot.

    • Mike Peterson

      Ridiculous comparisions.

      • WOOF

        Try it. Guys with guns will show up and you best not be smoking.

  • Mike Peterson

    My question is, if they’re not enthusiastic about this at all, where were the police voicing their concerns during campaign season? Or maybe I just missed it or something else…… but most voters do respect what law enforcement has to say…

  • spud

    The law maybe poorly written in respect to this 20 feet from the building garbage but why is it when something is so overwhelmingly approved by the voters is the law considered “absurd”. Maybe name calling does not work out so good. When your on losing side of these votes by the people of the great state of North Dakota which they are entitle to have and are legally binding maybe you would finally get a clue how those cute little words do not work anymore. Birtherism, socialist, commie, we know who they were attached to but he is going to be a two term “winner”. Most repugs should not feel badly they dominate electorally and majority wise in numbers in this state. But they suffer from a disease when they lose AOMS. Angry Old Man Syndrome. Heard alot of it yesterday at local pub. Need to get over it when you lose elections and this property rights idea well bars were just last man standing before November 6 election put the kabosh on that theory. The law is on the side of the majority not the minority so go cry somewhere else. Tired of listening to the whining.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob


      If the voters vote for something it must be 100% right, no matter how bad it is in realty, because spud says so.

      • spud

        Why don’t you tell your flock that this reality is going to be here till we are all gone. Rob whining and losing have something in common “you”. This is settled law end of story loser.

        • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

          Why don’t you tell your flock that this reality is going to be here till we are all gone.

          We’ve heard that from you prohibitionists before.

          “No man living will ever see a Congress that will lessen the enforcement of that law.”

          – Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, speaking about the 18th amendment prohibiting alcohol


          Things change. People come to their senses. Call me a loser all you want, tough guy, but I’ll keep talking about what’s right.

    • Flamejob5

      “Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is
      unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed
      action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights
      of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but
      the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”

      –Thomas Jefferson

    • Flyby_Knight

      “Tired of listening to the whining.”

      So go away.

  • Chris Brownell

    Why would the police be handling this and not the health inspectors? Restaurants are responsible to use hand wash sinks, when you see a food service person do something that should be followed by a wash, do you call the police?

    If you go into a store that sells clothes do you think you would be able to smoke, or do you think the store would chuck you out for making their merchandise stink?
    I think they might just self police.

    When law enforcement is called it is likely because it has escalated into something else. Some smoker is making trouble beyond just smoking.

    That the police are “underfunded” is, well, not so much a problem when they want to do something like use radar to write tickets and have a revenue stream from it. But I am getting off topic.

    The whole article Rob wrote here is a rhetorical fallacy. We know, Rob, where you stand on this as far as property rights go. However this post does not help your argument any.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      Rhetorical fallacy?

      We’ve created a law that’s going to be a nightmare to enforce. But sure, attack me for pointing that out.

  • Roy_Bean

    This discussion brings up an interesting question. We now have a law against smoking in public and we also have a law against making frivolous 9-1-1 calls. I think the authorities better define whether a violation of this law warrants a 9-1-1 call or not. They might have to add extra staff just to handle the additional smoking complaints.

    • awfulorv

      Ah! but do you have a law which forbids policemen from smoking in police vehicles while they’re transporting harmless car sleep it offers, back to the station for the obligatory NADUI ( not actually driving under the influence).

  • spud

    Another amazing fact how Rob talks about principles and voters keep voting to tell him where the sun shines on them. “Priceless”.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      The people voted for the prohibition of alcohol, then eventually realized the error of their ways. The people voted for the “war on drugs,” but now we’re starting to see the cracks in that mistake.

      A vote doesn’t make you right, spud.

  • Mike

    So, if I smoke marajuana in public, I can just leave before the police get there?

    • VocalYokel

      If your intent is to smoke marijuana in public, I strongly recommend you depart prior to the arrival of the police.

  • VocalYokel

    Create a specific task force responsible for apprehension of the consumers of this substance who choose to violate this law.

    Instead of guns, all they would need are tape measures and video cameras, because you never know when one of these pesky scofflaws is going to claim they were in fact 20 feet and six inches from the door, vent, window that puts them in violation.
    Although perhaps Tasers should be supplied the officers also, since there is always the danger that these addicts may become violent when confronted.

    I propose that funds for the enforcement agency come from the groups who spent so much money campaigning for the it.

  • Yet another guest

    Come on people, you’re making this sound like people’s rights are being taken away somehow. They’re not. In fact, the smoking restrictions in other states are much harsher. In some cities and states in the country, smoking is prohibited within 100 feet of an entrance to a building, an open window or fresh air intake. North Dakota’s is only 20 feet.
    This is going to make enforcing the new ban challenging. Essentially, this takes the matter out of the hands of local law enforcement and puts it in the hands of the county states attorney. Local law enforcement can issue a citation and file a report with the states attorney, but it would be up to the states attorney whether or not to actually pursue a violation in court.

    • sbark

      So on that thought, we need the entire city canvased by viewing camera’s with hidden infrared markers on the sidewalks and building that only the camera can spot sot the states attorney can make a judgement call wether the cigarette was closer than 20 feet or was it just a heel of a shoe worn by a guy smokeing that guilty cigarette.
      The entire premise is property rights……because with the left there is always another step in the wrong direction that further infringes on those rights, but always for our own good (were too stupid to make logical decisions), or for the good of the state which more and more will be based on revenue as govt grows at any and all levels.

  • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

    Police and the legal system have long functioned as a public-supported part-time nanny-pool at the behest of women with children who work outside of the home.