A few readers suggested that we blog on this story today, including one who wrote: "Had I not found this article on a local TV channel's Web site, I would have guessed it was April 1st of maybe somebody was playing a joke on the Web site's news editor. I am so embarrassed to be from Missouri right now. This would be funny if it were not so absurd." Chris Blank, who covers state government and politics for the Associated Press, discovered that lawmakers got confused when they tried to pass a law making it illegal for boaters and river floaters to float inexpensive polystyrene coolers full of beer and other adult beverages on Missouri's rivers. The problem occured because they knew that it was wrong to call the coolers Styrofoam -- that's a trade name for a specific product. But they didn't know the name of the actual material they were trying to regulate. So the law, as passed, says it's illegal for folks to use polypropylene containers on the rivers. Of course no one actually does that, so that part of the law is moot. I presume the local law enforcers can spend their time on the other parts of the new law -- bans on beer bongs, alcohol funnels and containers that hold more than 4 gallons of alcohol. Violators face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail. Actually, that probably makes more sense than putting people in jail for a year for floating a foam cooler on the river, doesn't it?
Missouri bans the wrong plastic
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