I know as a law student I tend to shut myself off from the outside world while it gets closer to finals. But I’m very surprised I missed the news that all Florida public universities are top in the nation, our public education graduation rate is at 100 percent, unemployment is nonexistent, and private businesses are booming across the state.
Oh wait, that didn’t happen? I’m sorry. I just had to assume so because our Legislature seems to think that the most pressing issue right now is a “bong ban” in tobacco shops.
What is the “bong ban,” you ask? Well, in an effort to supposedly curb illegal drug use, the Florida Legislature has decided to ban the sale of completely legal water tobacco pipes because people can smoke illegal drugs out of them. This ban is a great leap backward from the previous, equally restrictive measures that heavily regulated the sale of these pipes in Florida shops.
Well, as long as we’re on this race to the logical bottom, let’s not stop with just tobacco pipes! Let’s ban any sort of rolled smoking materials. Say goodbye to cigarettes and cigars because people can use those rolling papers for other smoking activities. And, for good measure, we should probably ban two-liter soda bottles because you never know how people are going to use those. Don’t club hoppers put Ecstasy into lollipops nowadays? Better make that candy illegal! We don’t want kids to get the wrong idea.
Does this sound incredibly ridiculous to you?
That’s because it is.
It’s ridiculous to pass an incredibly broad law that doesn’t actually achieve its underlying purpose.
It’s ridiculous to make legitimate products illegal because they can be used for illegitimate purposes.
It’s ridiculous that the Florida Legislature is wasting their time and your money pursuing fruitless ends.
And it’s ridiculous that they would be doing so on the backs of small businesses.
And if you think this is ridiculous, then please, take five minutes out of your day and visit http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/sections/representatives/myrepresentative.aspx to find the phone numbers for your state representatives. Call them and tell them to vote “no” on these two bills because there’s too much going on in Florida to spend time on the ridiculous.