Recent proposals to ban marijuana edibles and flavored e-cigarettes share the same basic premise: Adult products should be prohibited if they might appeal to minors. I consider that argument in my latest Forbes column. Here is how it starts:
Two weeks ago, a New York City councilman proposed a ban on flavored electronic cigarettes. This week Colorado news outlets reported that the state health department had recommended a ban on almost all forms of edible marijuana products. As is often the case when politicians or bureaucrats demand new limits on liberty, both proposals were aimed at protecting children.
Although flavored e-cigarettes and marijuana edibles are intended for adults, appeal to adults, and can be legally sold only to adults, the prohibitionists argue that they cannot be tolerated because they also appeal to minors. The same rationale has been offered for bans on flavored tobacco products and sweet malt beverages. This argument, although couched in the language of moderate and sensible regulation, should be a non-starter in a free society, because it reduces adults to the level of children.