Cult film-maker Jim Jarmusch has hit out at New York's smoking ban, and vows to break it whenever he can.

The Ohio-born director insists on his right to smoke whenever he chooses, and criticises all laws that prevent people the freedom of choice.

The Ghost Dog: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI director says, "It's a powerful drug, nicotine, as is caffeine, as is alcohol, and these are drugs that are treated in different ways, in different cultures.

"Tobacco is a sacred drug in Native American culture. How many people die from doing stupid things from drinking alcohol?

"But does that mean is should be outlawed?

"I don't think any drugs should be outlawed, they should be decriminalised. The reason crime is involves in drugs is because the drugs are illegal so people can't get them, they become junkies, they start robbing people.

"Anything you use for yourself, I don't understand why there should be laws saying you can or cannot do that. It's absurd to me.

"Are drugs sometimes very bad for people? Yeah, certainly. They sometimes kill people, but then so does driving cars, or emissions from cars or factories. The whole world is toxic."

22/10/2004 14:16