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California Considers Fines, Jail Time for Waiters Giving Out Soda Straws

waiter carries tray with coffee and sodas

It sucks to be a working stiff in California. It will suck more if this proposal becomes law.

California Considers $1,000 Fine for Waiters Offering Unsolicited Plastic Straws.

Yes. Really.

Ian 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.

"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.

The actual number of straws being used is unclear.

Clearly then, this is a yuuuuge issue in dire need of thousand-dollar fines and six-month jail terms for sub-minimum wage waiters.

What a shame it is that the Founders didn't provide a constitutional mechanism for ejecting shithole states from the Union.