A Calif. bill would jail people for handing out straws. It may be based on a child’s research.

The majority leader of the California State Assembly has introduced a bill that would, as written, impose jail sentences of up to six months if a restaurant worker hands out a single unsolicited plastic straw.

. . . But repercussions have already spread beyond California, complicating a national movement to eliminate drinking straws. A report by Reason, a libertarian magazine, throws doubt on national drinking straw estimates — 500 million used each day — that have been cited by Calderon, many environmental groups and even the federal government in anti-drinking-straw campaigns.

Reason reports that the widely used figure is based on a telephone poll conducted by a 9-year-old boy.

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