Sunday, 3 May 2015

A Moment over Laws

The Hawaii state legislature passed a new law in the last week.....you have to be twenty-one to smoke cigars or cigarettes.  I'd assume you'd have to be twenty-one to smoke marijuana as well....but the news media left that out of the article that I was reading.

What the law says is that you can't smoke, buy or possess regular tobacco products or electronic cigarettes.

Your fine if caught?  Ten dollars on the first offense.  After that.....$50 or mandated service to the local community.  My humble guess is that if you don't have any cash.....the community service will fall into play.

The odds of this law working?  I'm a reasonable guy and and understand the strategy here.....but it's mostly a joke.  What cop will waste his time on this type of patrol?  The 15,000 teens who smoke marijuana daily in Hawaii?  They will continue on smoking and not worry much about this.

The military guys on post?  Well....here's the thing, most military posts obey the local rules, so the BX guy or the Commissary clerk standing there.....as you step up with lots of condoms and a pack of Camels....will ask you for an ID card.  Sadly, they will sell you the condoms, but not the smokes.  So you walk back to the barracks.....talk to Joe (your buddy who is 21 years old), and Joe goes to the Commissary for you to buy a cartoon of Camels.

The thing here.....is that when you make laws that are unenforceable.....it detracts from the public 'trust' in you as a legislative body.  They see you as a gimmick organization, working on bogus public laws with no balance, no value, and no return.

So, out of the hundred eighteen-year olds who smoke today in Hawaii.....what does this do?  Well....it means you sort through your friendships.....find someone who is twenty-one....and get them to do your Camel purchases.  You get around the law, with simplicity and ease.  Life goes on.....with just a mild stumbling block in front of you. All this democracy around us, with so many tools left to us by the Greeks and Romans.....and we worry about smoking and how to criminalize it?

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