I have long been of the opinion that we should be encouraging the state of California to secede from the Union - or perhaps, to just fall into the Pacific Ocean - but recent goings on in the Golden State have convinced me that a concerted effort ought to be made, and soon.
Recent laws have made it impossible to get any drug containing dextromethorpan without a prescription. That includes Robitussin, NyQuil, Dimetapp, and several other cold medicines. Before you say that limiting drugs that can possibly be used for recreational purposes is a good thing, let me remind you of this: when people have to get a prescription for cold medicine, they will now be more likely to visit a doctor or an emergency room for the common cold. The uninsured will most likely flood into already overcrowded emergency rooms, making it more difficult for those with genuine emergencies to get prompt and proper care. And the insured will present their cards at the doctors' offices, leading to massive increases in the cost of medical insurance. Massive increases in the cost of insurance leads to a greater number of uninsured, since more and more people will no longer be able to afford the bare minimum coverage. But wait, a nationalized healthcare plan could totally fix this...right?
California is also prohibiting the use of e-verify, a program designed to help employers determine the eligibility (based on immigration status) of potential employees. They will allow the use of the program only if it is required by federal law or becomes a condition for receiving federal funding. They are also expanding the California Dream Act, to facilitate the state (read: legal taxpayer)-funded education of the children of illegal immigrants.
However, California is paving new ground in education - becoming the first state to mandate the teaching of "gay history" in public schools. Curriculum is now required to include study of the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. Any material considered to be discriminatory toward those groups is being banned. The problem here is that history is discriminatory. History is racist, sexist, and in some cases, downright evil. That is simply because we are talking about human history. If we attempt to "undiscriminate" history, we remove the humanity. We also lessen the reality of the mistakes made in the past, creating an environment that all but begs those mistakes to be repeated on a grander scale.
But the worst blow of all came with the law that struck down caffeinated beer. I don't drink beer, and I have recently given up caffeine. But the idea that the government feels that it has an interest in whether or not people choose to ingest two legal drugs at the same time (regardless of the stupidity involved) is a sad commentary on the continued overreaching that we have allowed of our government thus far.
So ask yourself this: if we just let California go, who would really get hurt?