The governor’s recent veto of a bill that would have banned smoking at state parks and state beaches has raised questions about the role of government. It also would have banned vaping and smoking marijuana.
The legislators who sponsored the bill said the ban on smoking at state beaches and parks would protect the public from the health risks of second hand smoke and help to prevent wildfires and reduce litter.
But in vetoing the bill, the governor said: “If people can’t smoke even on a deserted beach, where can they? There must be some limit to the coercive power of government."
The governor’s remark is raising questions about other laws and proposed laws too.
Questions about laws to ban plastic straws for one. And there’s still debate about the existing law that banned grocery stores from using plastic bags.
The questions include these questions: What makes a law banning plastic straws and bags to protect the environment okay for government to pass? And why is a law banning tobacco and marijuana smoke at state beaches and parks to protect people’s health and the environment too coercive?
Is it because lobbyists behind banning plastic bags and straws are more powerful than the lobbyists who want to ban cigarettes and pot?
And among all the questions being asked is the one that led to all these laws in the first place: And that’s this one: Why can’t people just pick up after themselves and pick up bags and straws and be courteous to those around them who don’t want to breathe in their smoke? Guess we know the answer to that question.
(Photo credit Getty Images)