The smaller the government, the easier it is to effect their laws. This doesn’t mean they necessarily make better laws… but at least it affects fewer people. Worst case scenario, you find yourself deciding whether to move out of the state, instead of out of the country.
Driving While Munching Might Be Illegal… But Maybe Not
Do you consider cheeseburgers distracting? In Washington State, it is perfectly legal to eat a cheeseburger while driving. Unless it distracts you.
The all-knowing police will decide if the cheeseburger, or coffee, or fixing your hair is distracting you. If they determine you were distracted, they can issue a citation.
This confusing new Washington law makes distracted driving illegal, without bothering to define the specifics of what constitutes distracted driving.
This type of discretion means police can choose their victims arbitrarily.
That is the real effect of having so many laws that you can’t get through a day without breaking a dozen. You can be arrested if a cop doesn’t like your face because he can always find something to pin on you.
This relates back to the war on driving that we talked about last week. Just driving across town is becoming a mine field. A cop can issue a citation and steal hundreds of your dollars basically at their discretion.
And it will cost you more to take a day off from work fighting it in court, than to just accept the theft, and pay the ticket.
Massachusetts Legalizes Weed… Again
Massachusetts legislators have passed, and the governor signed, a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.
But wait, didn’t voters already pass that measure last November?
Yep, but the legislature took it, and bumped taxes up to 20% from 12%.
The state will issue licenses to dispensaries just weeks before they are allowed to open next July. It’s not like businesses need time to plan. I’m sure it is no problem for business owners to spend millions setting up a store, without knowing if they will even have a license to operate.
This is the typical regulatory nightmare that governments force on businesses. They should just be treating pot like tomatoes.
And when the state promises to abide by a voter referendum, they should stick to their word!
But Massachusetts voters shouldn’t be surprised. They kept electing the same people who refused to abide by a 2000 voter referendum to lower the Massachusetts income tax to 5%.
Instead, the politicians lowered it from 5.95% to 5.85%. The next year they took it down to 5.6%.
17 years later, the tax has actually gradually been reduced to 5.1%. The difference is so small that it makes you wonder if the legislature is simply slapping voters in the face.
Consequences: Is a Fine Worse Than Getting Hit by a Car?
The threat of getting hit by a car is not enough to stop people from texting and crossing the street. But apparently, the threat of receiving a citation and fine is a better disincentive.
The city of Honolulu Hawaii has made it illegal to look at your smartphone while crossing the road.
People caught using a phone while in a crosswalk or jaywalking can now be fined.
Don’t worry, there is an exception for calling 911!
What a sad state humanity finds itself in. People need to be threatened legally to look up from their zombie-inducing or smart phones.
And government continue to work their way into regulating every facet of human behavior.