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No Smoking Under 21: What is California Smoking?

California Smoking.jpgImage Credit: Walt Disney Co.

Let me start with this. I am not a smoker. I hate smoking. I don't like its smell and I don't think that it is good for you. In fact I believe that smoking shortens life and creates ultimate misery for its users and their loved ones.

That out of the way, the California Legislature, with the Governor's signature, has enacted a law, which raises the smoking age from 18 to 21. Now, while 18-year-olds are presumed adults and are permitted to do a lot of adult activities they'd better not be caught smoking tobacco. That's a "no-no," kids. Don't worry, though, because the California Legislature has kept the minimum age for other rights intact. Among them:

• Get medical marijuana

• Grow, consume, or possess medical marijuana

• Purchase a long gun

Possess a handgun

• Purchase a house

• Marry without parental consent

• Enter into a binding contract

• Vote for the president

Be elected mayor

• Serve on a Jury

• Enlist in the U.S. military

So imagine a garden party of 18-to-21 year-olds. The party is held at the house of a 19 year old owner, married, with two children. The backyard contains a marijuana grow - "medical" in nature. Those attending the party are talking about whom they are going to vote for President. They're also excited that their 18-year-old cousin looks like he is going to be elected the Mayor of Petaluma. Not only that, but they're showing off their weaponry - there is a hot dispute over whose weapon is cooler, a tactical shotgun or an AR-15. A number of the partygoers are also U.S. Marines who recently returned from service in the Middle East.

Suddenly, without warning, a nineteen-year-old lights up a Lucky Strike. The music at the party goes silent - you can hear a pin drop. And then, with furrowed brows on their faces and long guns slung across their shoulders, the other partygoers deliver a stern warning: the cops in the neighborhood are cracking down on kids smoking cigarettes. The nineteen-year-old quickly apologizes and puts out his light. The music starts back up again, and the festive garden party at the marijuana grow continues as before - all is well in the State of California.

No Smoking Under 21: What is California Smoking? from Hackard Law on Vimeo.

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