If it were possible to legislate common sense, Trenton would be the capital of the enlightenment.
But it isn't, and it's not, as demonstrated by Thursday's New Jersey Assembly vote to ban anyone under 18 from tanning salons. Under current state law, no one under 14 is allowed to fake 'n bake, and those between 15 and 17 must have parental permission, in writing.
Inspiration for yet more legislation comes courtesy of Nutley's notorious Patricia Krentcil -- a seeming UV addict recently charged with child endangerment for allegedly letting her kindergarten-age daughter into a local tanning booth. Krentcil, who at first seemed to relish her 15 minutes of infamy, claims the girl got sunburned the old-fashioned way.
Is there anyone in the state, or the world, unaware of the fact that artificial or natural tanning can lead to melanoma and other cancers? New Jersey lawmakers don't seem to think so.
Given the political unpalatability of a ban on children playing outside, however, perhaps the Assembly will shift its campaign to protect the young by banning adults from washing little ones in laundromats.
Security video footage of just such an act -- seemingly a joke that could have but did not result in injuries -- at an East Camden laundromat has gone viral.
Can a Trenton hearing be far behind?