At the beginning of the year, Washington Co. banned the sale of flavored tobacco products at any retailer, regardless of age-restrictions or verification practices. The bill started out as a crackdown on age-verification, but then morphed into an overall ban, which caused some of the commissioners to balk at it. Regardless, it passed last year, and went into effect on New Year’s Day.
However… the ban has been lifted, as petitioners have raised enough signatures to get the measure deferred to the May ballot.
This ban had a huge effect on many businesses, some of which have had to close their doors. Opponents of the ban say it takes the choice out of people who are of age in order to prevent underage people from getting it.
For me? Yeah, I could see this as going a step too far. But I totally understand it. We definitely draw weird lines when it comes to certain things. We have decided that cocaine is bad, right? Nobody is allowed to have it. Nobody can possess it, and nobody can sell or buy it. OK? Got it? That’s illegal. We drew that line firm. So your “freedoms” are trumped by the will of the community, right? I don’t see anybody protesting that. But why? If your argument is that people shouldn’t be “told what to do” by the government, then shouldn’t it all be legal? Sure, we all agree there should be laws against, say, driving while intoxicated, right? Because that endangers other people, right? But so does secondhand smoke, so why not get rid of vaping? Or for that matter, all cigarettes and tobacco products.
My point is… we are hypocrites. All of us. I’m fine with outlawing cocaine. I’m sure it’s fun, but we’ve all seen it ruin lives, and once you’re hooked, you’re kind of out of control. So isn’t it better for everybody if it’s not around? I feel much the same way about vaping. I’m sure it’s fun, but it’s not good for you.
But then again, neither is alcohol. And I love getting drunk. I have such a good time being drunk, and I’m more fun to be around. So don’t outlaw that. But then again, people get out of control with that sometimes. I’ve been there too. So let’s keep that, but let’s not.
~Jake from 98.7 The Bull