Every now and then the Parliament does something which I consider to be “good”. It’s a rare event but it’s something.
Case in point, the Lower House endorsed the temporary juvenileÃ¢??s law of 2001 that bans the sale of alcohol, cigarettes and controlled drugs to citizens under 18. The punishment to facilities that serve alcohol and nargileh (water pipe, hubbly bubbly, another way to die) to underage citizens is imprisonment of up to 6 months in jail or a fine of 200 JDs, or both.
What was interesting was the amendment which was introduced concerning nightclubs. The penalty for nightclub owners who allow underage citizens into their clubs has now increased from a one month closure to permanent closure.
Very bold I must say.
Some MPs had trouble with the law and the amendment stating that it’s unrealistic. “Fathers still send their sons to purchase cigarettes. We cannot punish shop owners so severely for such a simple matter” said Deputy Mustafa Shneikat. Other deputies felt the punishment for nightclubs was “too harsh”. While others said the parliament needs to take a more “iron fist policy” approach.
In my opinion the punishment is just right. If they’re going to have nightclubs in the country there need to be protective measures taken for under age citizens who make up the majority of the population.
As for the law being unrealistic given the realities of today’s society, well to that I say realities change. All social paradigms shift and laws are a good way to make that happen when it comes to changing negative realities. People should not be sending their kids to buy cigarettes for them and that reality has to be changed.
But like all laws that came before it and all laws that will come after the problem remains with one thing: implementation.