I had an idea that I thought could help smokers, alcoholics, and gamblers.
Create a national registry that people can voluntarily add themselves to that associates their drivers license number with a self-ban list for their addiction of choice.
For example, a smoker could add themselves to the cigarette ban list. Any time the smoker went to a grocery store or convenience store to buy cigarettes, the clerk would scan their license. If their name came up as banned, the clerk would not sell that person cigarettes.
Same thing with gamblers – casinos would scan the drivers license of all gamblers and reject entry to those who had added themselves to the compulsive gamblers list. Same thing with alcoholics – grocery stores, restaurants, and liquor stores would scan the licenses of the buyers and reject those who self identified as alcoholics.
Potential objections to this idea:
- Would it be expensive? No – it would be a very simple web application with an API that could be integrated with any convenience store or restaurant point of sale system.
- Would it be intrusive? No – people would only voluntarily sign themselves up for this. If you don’t want your information tracked, you don’t have to sign up. The only thing tracked would be license numbers of those on the self ban list.
- Would it reduce profits of cigarette companies, breweries, and casinos? Yes – and that’s a good thing. The higher their profits are, the more human suffering they have created.
- Could someone else add me to the list as a prank? No – you add yourself to the list at the DOL where licenses are issued.
- Would this process make checkout longer? No – many grocery stores already scan your license to check your age.
- Could you un-ban yourself if you wished? Yes – you could go back into the DOL and un-ban yourself. Perhaps have a week cooling off period.
- What would the penalties be for violating the ban? I’m not sure. Could just be social pressure with no fines. Or it could be a $100 fine per instance or something like that.
- If this is such a good idea, why hasn’t it been done already? Probably because very wealthy and powerful companies that prey on people’s addictions would lose money, and the corrupt politicians they support oppose it.