If you’ve been keeping up with news in California, you’ll know that the age of legal tobacco product usage and purchase has recently changed from 18 to 21 (with the exception of military personnel), taking effect on June 9. This law change is shocking for many Californians, especially those who believe that 18-year-old citizens should gain the same rights as citizens 21 years old or older. However, what’s more surprising than the law itself is that there is no Grandfather Claus in sight.
People all over the world are familiar with the legendary Santa Claus. For hundreds of years, the international legend has traveled the globe on Christmas day to award good children with presents. He has names in almost every language, different stories and traditions encompassing his actions, can be found in any mall in the United States around Christmas time, and is tight with the United States president, Barack Obama. In other words, his authority is unquestionable.
But far fewer people seem to be aware of the authority of Santa Claus' father, Grandfather Claus, who fights for an older law to continue applying in existing situations while the newer law applies to future cases. In other words, if Grandfather Claus were around during this tobacco law change, he could enforce a provision that would allow for current 18-20 year olds to continue purchasing and using tobacco while those turning 18 the following year would be unable to do so. But so far, when it comes to this law, Grandfather Claus is no where in sight.
Like your own grandfather, Grandfather Claus has done and said some things that are pretty racist. This includes when, in the 19th century south, Grandfather Claus stepped in to ensure that while recent black men would not be able to vote without paying a poll tax and taking a literacy test, white men, or — excuse me — people whose grandfathers had the right to vote before the Civil War, were untaxed and did not need to take a literacy test.
But Grandfather Claus isn’t all bad. In fact, he allowed people who carried an unlimited data plan with AT&T or Verizon to continue to do so even after both companies removed the option to have an unlimited data plan. Even more relevant, Grandfather Claus allowed those who were above the past legal drinking age to continue purchasing and drinking alcohol after the drinking age was changed to 21 years old in the 1980s.
This has young Californians wondering why Grandfather Claus isn't protecting their ability to continue consuming tobacco. However, lawmakers expect that although Grandfather Claus does not seem to be interested in protecting the rights of current 18-20-year-old Californians to allow them to smoke cigarettes and e-cigarettes, he may start popping into news and media to protect the rights of 18-20-year-old hipsters who smoke exclusively out of a pipe. This is believed because of Grandfather Claus' statement in an earlier interview,
“The fact that young people these days are allowed to be smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, even at the age of twenty-one, seems ridiculous to me. The only thing that I ever let my son’s lips touch was Coca-Cola, a classic wooden pipe, and the foreheads of non-sinful children.”
Unfortunately for non-hipster young Californians who already use tobacco, it seems that Grandfather Claus is set on making them wait as long as three years before the next time they light up.