Calderon, the Democratic majority leader in California's lower house, has introduced a bill to stop sit-down restaurants from offering customers straws with their beverages unless they specifically request one. Under Calderon's law, a waiter who serves a drink with an unrequested straw in it would face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.What words are there to describe this? Stupid? Insane? Pathetic? Extreme micromanaging? How far can we go to describe this micro-control of behavior?
"We need to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways, and oceans," Calderon explained in a press release.
This isn't just Calderon's crusade. The California cities of San Luis Obispo and Davis both passed straws-on-request laws last year, and Manhattan Beach maintains a prohibition on all disposable plastics. And up in Seattle, food service businesses won't be allowed to offer plastic straws or utensils as of July.
The Los Angeles Times has gotten behind the movement, endorsing straws-on-request policies in an editorial that also warned that "repetitive sucking may cause or exacerbate wrinkles on the lips or around the mouth." Celebrity astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson (always up for a little chiding) and Entourage star Adrian Grenier have appeared in videos where an octopus slaps them in the face for using a plastic straw.
CA'ians, is this the sort of State you really want to live in?
GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!
"Update: Reason spoke with Voleck Taing, a senior assistant to Assemblyman Calderon, who said they intend to amend the bill to remove the fines."
But, I guess the jail time will still apply...