Don’t you St Paulians feel safer, knowing that your government is wasting your money on this petty male bovine excrement? At least the bureaucrat didn’t give them the $500 fine.
A back-in-the-day soda shop in St. Paul has been busted for selling cigarettes — made of candy.
Lynden’s, on Hamline Avenue near Cretin-Derham Hall High School, said a city inspections official came in last week and gave the shop a warning and added that a misdemeanor citation — with a $500 fine — would be next if the non-carcinogenic confections continue to be sold.
“We got busted [Dec. 19] by the City of St. Paul. Oops,” the shop tweeted.
Candy cigarettes, bubble gum cigars and bubble gum made to look like chewing tobacco have been among a host of vintage sugary treats that Lynden’s has kept in stock since it opened in April.
“We had no idea,” Tobi Lynden said Wednesday, lamenting that she can no longer sell the white candy sticks with the red tips, her best-selling candy. “We don’t want to get on the bad side of St. Paul.”
Lynden said nearly all of the candy cigarette purchases were made by adults.
” ‘Oh, I had these when I was little,’ ” she said she would often hear. “We weren’t trying to promote smoking or tobacco use of any kind.”
And just what would prompt a bureaucrat to ferret out such nefarious activity?
“Somebody from Bloomington called and reported us,” Lynden said. “The whole thing is pretty weird.”
Robert Humphrey, spokesman for the city’s Safety and Inspections Department, said the complaint came to his agency Dec. 13. An inspector visited Lynden’s on Dec. 19 and had the forbidden products immediately removed from the sales floor.
A unanimous City Council outlawed candy smokes and cartoon character lighters in April 2009. The council cited a study showing that these products encouraged youngsters to take up smoking tobacco.
Lynden’s Facebook page has collected dozens of comments decrying the enforcement action and the rationale behind it.
“I just got through a bag of gummy bears,” one person wrote. ” Now I can’t stop thinking about where to find a REAL bear to eat!”
Let this be a good warning to all of you who would thwart the law or thumb your nose at seemingly inconsequential regulation. One of your neighbors will rat you out.