To paraphrase Darth Vader, "The idiocy is strong in this one."
The Hawaii State Legislature is considering H.B. 1509, introduced by three legislators, to increase the minimum age required to legally buy cigarettes, until you have to be at least 100 years old. I did not mistype that. One hundred years old. IF enacted (and it's a pretty big IF), the legal age to buy cigarettes would jump to 30 on 1/1/2020, then every subsequent year it would jump to 40, 50, 60 years, then all the way to 100.
Now let me explain to you the Aircraft Carrier-sized holes in this law:
- This only affects the sales of cigarettes from stores.
- It does not regulate possession.
- It only restricts cigarettes, not pipes, cigars and so on.
So, I can see 60 year old people profiteering (because the only state law on profiteering relates to gasoline; I checked) by buying cartons of cigarettes and selling to their family and friends. I can see vacationers flying in with multiple cartons to sell. I can see family and friends on the Mainland Fedexing cartons. Then you have all of the people just switching over to the other forms of tobacco usage to keep their nicotine levels up.
Then we will also have the black-market running a healthy profit. My wife's grandfather was a stevedore and she has told me some stories about him. In-line with this, I found the Hawaiian Libertarian, and specifically this post: The Illusionary Rule of Law.
The long-term effects of this are numerous. Another law that will have a drastic negative effect primarily on small businesses, a big boost in sales (and profits) for the already rampant black market, an exploding gray market, a drastic fall off in state revenues from the "sin tax" on cigarettes, a further disregard for the rule of law by the people, do I really need to go on?
This clearly illustrates the point of "Just because it's legal doesn't make it right. Just because it's illegal doesn't make it wrong."