Along with the new year, 2014 ushers in a host of new laws across the country. From tanning bed regulations to recreational marijuana, check out the laws that might be taking effect in your state.
If you live in Illinois, underage tanning in salons is now a thing of the past. Starting January 1, tanning beds will be off limits to those under 18, adding Illinois to the growing number of states that have imposed a ban on underage tanning.
In California, students will now be allowed to play sports and use school bathrooms that accommodate their “gender identity,” regardless of their birth identity. Rhode Island also passed a perhaps controversial new law, enacting the “ban the box” law, which prohibits employers from inquiring about a potential employee’s criminal history in written job applications. Rhode Island will become the eighth state to pass this law, making “equal opportunity” hiring just a little bit more equal.
Perhaps the most significant new laws in 2014 are the regulations that now allow Colorado residents who are 21 and older to buy up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use. This surpasses previous laws allowing medical marijuana to be sold in dispensaries to club members. Many have likened this step to the ban of Prohibition in the 1930’s, and marijuana advocates are confident that it is a forerunner of much yet to come.
“The genie’s out of the bottle and it’s simply not going back in,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
These are but a sampling of the new laws taking effect this year. Check out your state legislature to stay up-to-date with happenings in your local area.