Lars Larson on Cigarette Butts

With all the problems to worry about, Oregon’s talking about throwing butts away.

Oregon is No. 1 in unemployment again, thanks to Ted and a lot of crazy government policy. But the legislature is tackling big things like making it a misdemeanor crime to throw a cigarette butt away, subject to a jury trial, a court appointed attorney, and up to six months in jail.

It’s already illegal to throw a burning cigarette out of a car window. It’s illegal to liter. But, Representative Carolyn Tomei of Milwaukie wants to make it a misdemeanor crime to throw away a cigarette or cigar butt, punishable by six months in jail.

I smoke a cigar now and then, so I have a dog in the fight. Cigars are just collections of leaves. Cigarettes are manufactured and have filters that don’t degrade very quickly. But, turning all of this into a misdemeanor crime?

I can’t wait for the first time somebody demands a jury trial and a court appointed attorney. That’s the level of discourse we’re having here in Oregon.

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