No, No, No, Hell No on 60

Proposition 60 is an initiative statute which, broadly speaking, requires performers in adult films to use condoms during filming, and requires producers of adult films to (a) obtain a state license, and (b) pay for performers to get vaccinations, testing, and medical exams. It also imposes a financial liability for violations, and allows *any state resident* to bring suit to enforce the violations. The measure was placed on the ballot by citizen activists, and it is opposed by both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, as well as by the only adult film performer organization in the state.

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Proposition 60 changes the Labor Code in the following ways:

* it requires adult film producers to “maintain engineering controls and work practice controls sufficient to prrotect adult film performers from exposure to blood and any other potentially infectious material-sexually transmitted infections.”

* it requires adult film producers to require their performers to use condoms and condom-safe water-based or silicone-based lubricants

* it requires adult film producers to comply with any other reasonable work practice controls imposed by a newly created regulatory board

* it requires adult film producers to pay for STI prevention vaccinations, tests, and medical follow up for their performers

* it requires adult film producers to comply with HIPAA in regards to their performer’s health data

* it allows performers to sue for violations of the above, either in an individual suit or a class-action suit, and obtain damages of up to $50,000.

* while it does not require condoms to be *visible* in the films, it explicitly allows a jury to assume that if condom’s aren’t visible, they weren’t used (and puts the burden on the film producer to prove that they were).

In addition, it creates a reporting structure:

* within ten days after starting to film, a producer must notify the state (in writing) of (a) the address of the filming, (b) the dates of the filming, (c) the name and contact information of the producer, the custodian of records, and any talent agency who referred performers, and (d) a sworn statement saying the film complies with the rules

* the adult film producer must pay a fee of at least $100

* failure to provide this information on time is punishable by a $1000-$7000 fine

* lying when providing this information is subject to a $70000 fine

And it creates a licensing structure:

* within ten days after starting to film, a producer must apply for a license, with a fee of at least $100

* issuance of the license is a ministerial task which can only be suspended or denied upon a showing that the producer has violated the health and safety rules within the last 12 months

* making an adult film without a license is punishable by a $25/day fine, which increases to $50/day for producers who had previously violated the health and safety rules
And it allows anyone to sue:

“any person who violates any provision … shall be liable … bia a civil action brought by the division or its designee, a civil prosecutor, an adult film performer aggrieved by a violation of Section 6720, or an individual residing in the State of California.”

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The proponents of the law are behind it for a simple reason: they believe it will protect performers from disease. “Thousands of cases of diseases — which can spread to the larger community — have been documented within the adult film industry in recent years”.

You’d think that performers would be in favor of that, but performer activist organizations aren’t. They, and the organized opposition to the measure, think that it will drive the adult film industry out of the state.

——

I will be voting against this measure. I think it’s well intentioned – requiring condom use and mandatory STD testing and vaccination in the adult film industry is *a good idea* – but this is a terrible vehicle for it.

One of my problems is its scope. It applies to “any perosn that makes, produces, finances, or directs one or more adult films filmed in California and that sells, offers to sell, or causes to be sold such adult film in exchange for [anything of value]” – which is to say, amateur films which are posted on advertising-supported websites probably qualify. This is an amazingly broad sweep; taken literally, a couple which produces a film of themselves having sex and trades it to a friend who has produced his own equivalent tape *is in violation of this law* if they didn’t obtain a license and notify the state within ten days of making the film.

This is insane.

Another problem is the enforcement scope. It allows *any person* who watches an adult film and doesn’t see the use of condoms to sue on behalf of the performers and force the producer to prove that condoms were used.

This is insane.

Another problem is the low liability limit. If a performer contracts HIV because this provision was violated, he can sue for at most $50,000, which is … nothing compared to the cost of his treatment. More galling still, the excessive cost of treating HIV is one of the things *specifically called out* in the argument for the measure … but the measure doesn’t sufficiently cover that case.

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Prop. 60 is a terrible law written in a good cause. It allows harassment of adult film producers by any viewer, and it requires producers of amateur sex videos to register with the state.

It deserves to be defeated by the widest possible margin.

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No on 66

Proposition 66 makes a set of changes to the *government code* and to the *penal code*. Broadly speaking, these changes are intended to streamline the appeals process for someone who has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to death.

Proposition 66 inherently conflicts with another measure on the ballot, Proposition 62, which repeals the death penalty. If both propositions pass, the proposition which gets the larger number of Yes votes will take effect. Accordingly, if you are voting for Proposition 62, you should *under no circumstances* vote for Proposition 66.

—The changes Proposition 66 would make—

* Proposition 66 would explicitly state that *victims of a crime* have a right “to have judgments of death carried out within a reasonable time”, thereby giving victims of crime a recognizable, legal interest in the execution of the person convicted for the crime.

* It would require that all executions be carried out within five years of conviction, and require the state court system to adjust its procedures to make sure this happens

* It would allow the state, the sentenced criminal, or the victims of the crime to sue to enforce the time limit if, for some reason, the appeals process is taking too long. (It’s not clear as a practical matter what the remedy would be when a victim sues to force appeals to move faster).

* It would require that all executions be carried out within 30-60 days of the conclusion of the appeals process

* It would require the Supreme Court to appoint random attorneys to handle appeals for indigent death penalty convicts

* It would change the rules so that any petition for habeas corpus (essentially, an attack on conviction or sentence) be heard *by the court which heard the original case*

* It would require that any habeas petition be brought within one year, unless a court finds that a preponderance of the evidence (whether or not admissible at trial) shows either actual innocence or ineligibility for the death penalty

* It would prohibit a stay of execution for consideration of a habeas petition brought outside the one year, unless a court finds that there is a “substantial claim” of actual innocence o r ineligibility.

* It would require trial courts to resolve habeas petitions within two years of filing

* It would limit issues on appeal to issues raised at trial, except for ineffective assistance of trial claims

* It abolishes special housing for death row inmates and distrubutes them across the general population

* It requires death row inmates to perform prison labor, and directs that 70% of their wages be spent on restitution fines or orders

* It exempts rules and procedures adopted pursuant to Prop. 66 from the Administrative Procedures Act

* It says that *only* the original court can hear claims that the method of execution is unconstitutional

* If a federal court finds a method of execution unconstitutional, it requires that Corrections adopt a new, constitutional method, within 90 days.

* It prohibits any medical licensing board from revoking the license of a doctor who assists the department in carrying out executions

* It makes some hyper-technical changes to the operational rules for the state’s habeas resource center (which provides assistance to indigent criminals).

— There are a bunch of changes there, and mentally, I broadly classify them as follows:

* Some of the changes are directed at streamlining the process and making it run faster (carrying out executions within five years, carrying out executions within 30-60 days of the end of appeals, requiring habeas petitions to be brought within a year and resolved within two years, and requiring speedy adoption of new processes if an execution protocol is deemed unconstitutional).

* Some of the changes are directed at ensuring that only the original trial court is hearing new cases, which presumably both makes things faster (the original trial has the context and already understands the situation and thus doesn’t have to be brought up to speed) and reduces variability in outcomes which might arise as a result of things being heard in different courts

* Some of the changes are directed at making life harder for the death-sentenced, by abolishing death row and requiring the convicts to work

* Some of the changes are directed at increasing victim involvement in the process

* One of the changes cannot be understood without understanding a wide swath of California legal procedure and is included in the measure for reasons I don’t understand.

— Streamlining the process nad making it run faster —

This is the main goal of Proposition 66, and it’s the thing which gets the most discussion in the campaign. *If we are going to streamline the process*, these provisions generally make sense, although one of them is actually impossible to carry out and has a very “Knut commanding the waves to stop” feel about it. (There’s simply no way that a federal court, having ruled the existing execution protocol invalid, will confirm that a new protocol is valid within the ninety day limit set by this proposition – the federal courts don’t work that fast, and the proposition can’t command a federal court to act within a specified period of time. Accordingly, it’s impossible for Corrections to comply with this requirement).

Whether or not you think we should streamline the death penalty really depends on beliefs you bring to the conversation that are not grounded in this proposition per se. If you’re opposed to the death penalty, of course, you should be opposed to streamlining. If you think that criminals have too many rights and are too protected by the state, streamlining makes sense.

For me, on this question, the issue is: can streamlining be carried out in a way that does not decrease the likelihood thatactual innocence will be uncovered? Executing an innocent man, for whatever reason, is a travesty and a stain on the honor of the state; we should go to great lengths to avoid it.

It’s hard to tell. The measure does allow actual claims of innocence to be brought at any time – but by requiring the execution within a short period after the end of appeals and making it harder to get a stay of execution for such claims, it reduces the amount of time for evidence of innocence to be found (which is a real issue in cases that are based on, for example, lying informants). That said, it’s *already* the case that death-sentenced convicts have the best chance to get their claims of innocence heard and analyzed, because there’s a vast army of volunteers interested in helping, and that’s unlikely to change.

The other issue is whether the time limits are realistic. Which is to say: one to two years to hear a case may simply *not be enough time* given the speed at which our system normally operates, and commanding it to operate faster without ensuring that more resources are made available does not seem likely to be successful.

— Requiring only the original trial court to hear new cases —

From what I can tell, these provisions exist under the theory that having the original trial court hear any new cases will result in those cases taking less time because the original trial court is already familiar with the evidence.

But that’s a double-edged sword, because if the claim is *actual innocence*, then the original trial court is way less likely to approach the new evidence with an open mind; the court’s familiarity will incline it to prejudge the new evidence – not through any venality of the court, but through standard human psychology.

— Making life harder on the death-sentenced —

Proposition 66 would abolish death row and send the death-sentenced to the general population. The idea behind this, on some level, is that death row is too *easy* on the death-sentenced.

There may be something to that.

And yet … putting the already death-sentenced in the general population is a *terrible idea*. It’s a terrible idea *for the other inmates* because the death-sentenced have no incentive to behave reasonably in the general population. They’re *already sentenced to die*; what more can the state do to them? What leverage do the wardens have, either carrots or sticks, to motivate good behavior?

It’s a bad idea; it’s guaranteed to lead to problems with prison security.

— Increasing victim involvement in the process —

I don’t understand what the practical effect of these changes is. I mean, say an appeal runs past five years, and the victim’s family sues; what’s the remedy? An order from one court to another court telling it to go faster? How is that enforced?

One answer to this is that the court hearing an appeal could be ordered *to dismiss the appeal* in furtherance of the rights of the victim. But it’s hard to imagine that happening, because that would clearly violate the appellant’s due process rights *under the federal constitution*.

So this set of provisions strike me as being rhetorical sugar whose practical effect is unclear but likely close to nonexistent.

— Stepping outside the Administrative Procedures Act —

The Administrative Procedures Act is a piece of legislation which enforces rules for how state agencies are supposed to operate *procedurally*. It includes rules that have to be followedd when new procedures or regulations are adopted; I do not know the specifics of California procedure law, so I don’t know what the rules are.

Proposition 66 exempts from the APA any regulation or procedure adopted pursuant to Proposition 66.

It’s not clear to me *why*. I assume there are elements of the APA which are perceived as slowing down the process, and so the authors of the initiative want to prevent those parts of the APA from operating, and it’s probably easier to just prvent the entire thing frmo operating than it is to try to piece out which parts to keep and which parts not to.

This strikes me as being a bad idea, both because there’s no good way for anyone voting on it to know what it does *and* because it sets a precedent which will later be used to exempt other things from the APA, too.

— A summary —

There are some things in this measure which, in my mind, should give a strong supporter of the death penalty pause. It moves death-sentenced convicts into the general prison population. It involves victims in the process in a way which is unlikely to have any actual effect but which is going to harm them by increasing their involvement and then disappoiinting them in the outcome. It exempts large parts of the death penalty process from the Administrative Procedures Act, setting a bad precedent.

That *should* be enough, in my opinion, for death penalty supporters to send this measure back and ask for a new one.

I will be voting ‘No’.

No on 59

Proposition 59 is an advisory measure that expresses the sentiment of the public without being binding law.

The measure, if passed, would express the desire of the public for our elected officials to “use all of their constitutional authority” to “overturn Citizens United” and “to allow the full regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending” as well as “to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, may express their views to one another” and “to make clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings.”

The official argument in favor of the initiative says that we should vote yes to help get big money out of politics and to correct the Supreme Court’s incorrect ruling in Citizens United. The rebuttal points out that the initiative does nothing because it has no force of law.

The official argument against says that the measureis a big waste of time and taxpayer dollars because (a) it has no legal effect and (b) asks California’s members of Congress to tinker with the first amendment. The rebuttal castigates the “misleading scare tactics” of the opponents and then warns that passing proposition 59 is essential to “PREVENT CORPORATIONS AND WEALTHY SPECIAL INTERESTS FROM BUYING OUR ELECTIONS”, the capitalization of which strongly implies that it’s a scare tactic.

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_Citizens United_ is a Supreme Court decision which held that the first amendment protects the right of corporations and labor unions to spend whatever they want on political campaigns, as long as those campaigns are not coordinated with official candidate campaigns. The abbreviated form of the argument is: the right to free speech and the right to freedom of the press *include* the right to buy advertising and to pay people to speak on your behalf; a limit on independent campaign expenditures is a restriction on the ability to speak, and is unconstitutional.

If you agree *as a policy matter* with the outcome of that decision, then you should vote ‘No’ on Proposition 59, as it’s a clear call for the state’s elected officials to do anything in their power to overturn it.

If, on the other hand, you disagree as a policy matter – whether or not you agree with the interpretation of the first amendment – the initiative looks tempting; the Supreme Court took the policy discussion off the table, and this initiative calls on the state’s elected officials to do what they can to amend the US constitution to put the policy issue back on the table.

That said, there are two strong reasons to *not* vote for this initiative even if you *do* despise _Citizens United_ and its outcome:

(a) it’s an advisory measure with no legal force which does nothing other than bring about political pressure;

(b) taken at face value it asks the elected officials of California to call an Article V constitutional convention, whose exercise of powers cannot be constrained.

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Looking at the two reasons to vote against, in order:

(a) it’s an advisory measure. It has no legal force. The constitution of California does not allow the voters to require its Legislators to vote a certain way, and the Constitution of the United States does not allow the voters of any state to direct federal officeholders in how to carry out their duties as such.

It has *moral* and *persuasive* authority, but probably only on those who were already inclined to behave in accordance with its provisions and who need political cover to do so in districts where they aren’t certain to be re-elected.

California has historically not used the initiative system for this kind of advisory measure; initiatives have always been actual laws or constitutional amendments. If we pass *this* advisory measure, it seems likely that there will be more, and the initiative system will become a method to poll for opinion rather than a way for the people to enact and disapprove of laws.

I think it’s a bad change to the initiative system, and would support an initiative to ban such advisory measures; it’s tempting to vote against this just on those grounds so as to send a clear “do not do this kind of thing” message to the legislature.

But (b) is more important.

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The plain text of the measure calls upon all of California’s elected officials to use “all of their constitutional authority” to overturn Citizens United. This includes calling upon the Legislature to use its authority to call for a Constitutional Convention.

Under Article V of the US Constitution, one of the ways to amend the constitution is for 2/3 of the states to ask Congress to “call a convention for proposing amendments”.

28 states have currently done so. This measure asks the California Legislature to become the 29th. In theory, many of the 28 states are only asking for *a specific amendment*, and so too would California be; but there *is no mechanism to enforce that*.

A constitutional convention, once called, can propose *any* amendment it chooses. Those amendments must be ratified by the states, it’s true, but the last time a constitutional convention was called, it *explicitly changed the rules for ratification* and the new rules went into effect *as soon as the new rules were followed*.

A constitutional convention, in other words, cannot be constrained; it has the power to do anything it wants.

It is, therefore, a very bad idea. It is a potential revolution unconstrained by any existing rules — and, as a general rule, it’s only good to support a revolution if the current situtation is so untenable that ANYTHING would be better, or if you have real certainty that the outcome of the revoluution will be what you want and the revolutionaries will not be led astray.

I am voting no. Even though I dislike the *policy outcomes* of _Citizens United_, I don’t want to risk the potential of an unconstrained constitutional convention.

No on 52

I have to admit, I’m really puzzled by Proposition 52, and I am seriously tempted to vote against it on those grounds – if I, a licensed-in-California lawyer who has followed ballot initiatives closely for 26 years, am confused, then it’s probably not something the voters should be voting on in its current form.
According to the ballot label, Proposition 52 “Extends indefinitely an existing statute that imposes fees on hospitals to fund Medi-Cal health care services, care for uninsured patients, and children’s health coverage”. That’s clear enough. But in order to do this it seems to require both an amendment to the state constitution AND a change in statute, and it’s not clear why; worse yet, it’s not clear to me *how* the change to the law does what the Legislative Analyst says it does.
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Looking first to the law (http://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/statewide-elections/2016-general/prop52-text.pdf), it appears that Proposition 52 does the following things:
(1) it amends the California Constitution to say that, if the legislature wants to change a particular law (Welfare and Institutions Code Article 5.230, the  Medi-Cal Hospital Reimbursement Improvement Act of 2013), those changes must be approved by the voters, unless the legislature either (a) the changes are passed by a 2/3 vote AND (b) either (1) the changes further the purposes of the original law or (2) the changes repeal the law in its entirety (without replacing it with a similar law that imposes a new tax, fee, or assessment).
(2) it amends the California Constitution to require that the fee raised by the original law is not considered revenue for the purpose of things like the overall spending limit or for the rule that says that roughly 50% of revenue must be spent on schools.
(3) it amends the Welfare and Institutions Code to automatically terminate Article 5.230 (the Medi-Cal Hospital Reimbursement Improvement Act) if the legislature fails to appropriate money in the Hospital Quality Assurance Revnue Fund in either the budget act or in a seperate bill enacted within thirty days of the budget act.
(4) it clarifies a rule so that Article 5.230 will automatically terminate given “a net general fund cost incurred due to the act” rather than “a cost to the general fund that is equal to or greater than one quarter of one percent of the general fund expenditures authorized in the most recent annual budget act.”
(5) it repeals the expiration date of the law.
Without even getting into my confusion about how this does what the LAO says it does, this is *bizarre*. It says the legislautre can’t change the underlying program without voter approval unless it does certain things by a 2/3 vote, but it makes it possible for the legislature to effectively repeal the underlying program by majority vote simply by failing to appropriate money from a certain fund. And it makes it *easier* for the underlying program to be automatically cancelled due to financial concerns, in the name of ensuring that the money raised is used for its intended purpose.
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The Legislative Analyst has a decent explanation of the background. (http://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov//statewide-elections/2016-general/prop52-leg-analysis.pdf). Apparently the state has been collecting a fee, levied against hospitals, since 2009, with the proceeds going (in part) to help fund the state’s share of Medical expenses and (in part) to underwrite the general fund; the part going to medical is currently matched by federal money. The fee will expire in 2018, but it’s been set to expire in the past, and the legislature keeps extending it; however, extension must be approved by the feds.
The LAO claims that the law does the following things:
* makes the program permanent.
* makes it harder for the legislature to end the fee
* makes it harder for the legislature to change the fee
* excludes the fee from the calculation of school funding
I can see how the law makes the program permanent; see (5) above. I can see how it makes it harder to change the fee; see (1) above. I can see how it excludes the fee from school funding; see (2) above.
But it does NOT make it harder for the legislature to end the fee. It *pretends to*, by requiring that a bill to do that pass by 2/3 or be approved by the voters, but because it *explicitly abolishes the program if the money isn’t appropriated*, it doesn’t *in fact* make it any harder – it just requires that the legislature play convoluted games to do so rather than doing so straightforwardly.
WTF?
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It’s pretty clear that the intended result of this initiative is to ensure that, if the federal government allows the fee to be extended, the program will continue in perpetuity, thereby securing a huge financial base for Medical, and that it will make it harder for the legislature to decide to divert the money or abolish it.
It’s also pretty clear to me that the initiative doesn’t actually have that result, probably because it’s a voter initiative and was likely drafted by a sloppy lawyer.
But *even if it did what it said it would do*, I would vote against, because this violates one of my strongest policy preferences for initiatives: it writes a *particular allocation of dollars into the state constitution*. By doing so, it decreases the ability of the legislature to respond to developments, and ossifies and hardens the budget structure. The more we mandate, at a constitutional level, that things be spent a certain way, the less flexibility the state has to deal with economic or environmental catastrophes.
The official argument against, in typical useless fashion, wants to decry hospital ceos who make too much money, but that’s not the problem with this initiative. The problem with this initiative is that it’s an extremely well-intentioned plan to implement bad policy which, due to flawed drafting, doesn’t even accomplish it’s intended goal.
Vote no on Prop 52.

Nebraska v Colorado

My news feed was interrupted yesterday, a bit, by talk of an unusual thing: two Supreme Court Justices dissented from the denial of certiorari by the Supreme Court. This is a rare thing for various reasons, and rare as it is for me to agree with the Justices who dissented, I think in this case they may have it right.

The case in question was an original jurisdiction lawsuit between Nebraska and Oklahoma (on one side) and Colorado on the other side. Under Article III of the US Constitution, which says “In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction”, such cases go straight to the Supreme Court, which acts as a trial court, rather than an appellate court, in such cases. The distinction here is important: when a trial court is deciding whether or not to take a case, it should in general base that decision not on an analysis of the merits of the case, but on the answer to the questions: (1) if what the plaintiff alleges is true, would there be an injury sufficient to seek redress, and (2) is there enough evidence that it’s plausible that it’s true and a trier of fact should be enlisted to determine whether or not it is?

Oklahoma and Nebraska allege that (a) Colorado has established a legal regulatory scheme which is contrary to federal law, and that federal law prohibits Colorado’s regulatory scheme, and (b) that regulatory scheme has resulted in harm to Nebraska and Oklahoma in the form of increased drug trafficking and, as a result, increased expenses in enforcement activity and incarceration.

The thing is, for a trial court considering whether or not to take the case, allegation (b) above should be treated as true, and the question should be: if the allegation were true, is there an actionable case?

There’s a colorable argument that even if the argument were true, there would be no actionable case. While I think it’s fairly clear that Colorado’s regulatory scheme conflicts with the Controlled Substances Act, it’s also not clear to me that the Controlled Substances Act gives anyone other than the US Dept. of Justice standing to sue to resolve such conflicts. And it’s also not clear to me that the nature of the harm Oklahoma and Nebraska allege is a federal question.

But surely those are questions that are entitled to a hearing. Stripped of the context of the war on drugs, these are important questions of structural federalism – and only the Supreme Court can really resolve them.

So I think the dissent had it right: the court should have taken this case.

[Note that while I think there’s an interesting question of law here, and while I think it’s entirely possible that Colorado’s regulatory scheme is actually prohibited by federal law and pre-empted in a way that renders it unconstitutional, I think that’s a question regarding the regulatory scheme.

Which is to say: it’s perfectly clear that the federal government cannot compel Colorado to make  marijuana illegal under Colorado law, or to enforce the federal law; what is at issue is whether or not Colorado may construct a regulatory scheme which is inconsistent with the federal regulatory scheme.

To take it out of the realm of drugs for a moment, a structurally equivalent case would be if the federal government had a policy prohibiting the trade in ivory in order to protect the remnant elephant population, but Colorado law allowed a heavily regulated, licensed trade in ivory; would that regulatory system be allowed to stand?

The irony in this, of course, is that Oklahoma and  Nebraska’s position is massively self-defeating as a matter of policy. If they’re right that the CSA precludes Colorado’s regulatory scheme, the net result would be that marijuana  would remain not-illegal under Colorado law, but that Colorado would be unable to regulate its trade; that seems like it would be more likely to produce problems for the neighboring states.]

 

The California Legislature did what, now?

The California Legislature  has passed a bill, and the Governor is expected to sign it, which increases the age at which one may purchase or consume tobacco products to 21.

I’m not, generally, in favor of smoking tobacco. My grandmother died of lung cancer. My mother died of lung cancer. A close aunt is currently struggling with lung cancer. My husband’s uncle recently died because of lung cancer. Smoking-induced lung cancer is a plague upon humanity, and  people who smoke tobacco frequently find themselves unable to give up the habit once they’ve started.

And yet.

What does adulthood mean, if it doesn’t mean that one is free to make one’s own choices? The California Legislature appears to believe that an eighteen year old is old enough to decide to donate her kidney (and go the rest of the life without one), but not old enough to decide to take up smoking (and assume the attendant risk). The California Legislature appears to believe that an eighteen year old is old enough to vote for or against a ballot measure to legalize marijuana, but not old enough to decide to smoke tobacco. The California Legislature appears to believe that an eighteen year old is old enough to enter into contracts assuming huge amounts of debt, but not old enough to decide to smoke tobacco.

This makes no sense at all.

If tobacco smoking is really so singular that the decision can’t be made by someone who can undertake normal contractual activity, then what’s the basis for believing that a 21-year-old can make the decision, or a 30-year old, or anyone at all?  Contrariwise, if it isn’t so singular, why should the law treat it as though it is?

The legislature was wrong to pass this. The governor will be wrong to sign it. And the people should repeal it by referendum.

I won’t lead the charge for that; while this law offends me, it’s just another one of those things, in the end. But I’ll support the charge if someone leads it.