Snuff hucksters barred

Events ordinance:
Referendum organizers feel like they’re being watched. See Days of Lore.

The Chico City Council voted near-unanimously Tuesday night (Dec. 4) to ban handing out smokeless tobacco in bars, closing a loophole in a state law that prohibits such promotional giveaways in public places.

“If a person is in a bar getting sloshed, we have a responsibility to protect them from something highly addictive they wouldn’t have chosen if they weren’t slosh-drunk,” Vice Mayor Ann Schwab said.

Larry Wahl was the lone councilmember to oppose the ordinance, agreeing with the intense speech by citizen Michael Reilley, who argued against the need to protect legal adults from themselves—“Chico, you’re going toward the nanny laws!” Wahl: “I find it ironic that some of the young people who are against the disorderly events ordinance would be for this.”

Councilman Scott Gruendl, a public health officer in Glenn County, responded, “I appreciate what Michael said because he said it with such passion, but I’ve seen this product pushed on people.”