February 4, 2015
Role and Functions of Law
Reporting aboard the USS Enterprise was an eye-opener once the tour took a surprising turn at the fantail (the rear of the ship) where three sailors were smoking marijuana. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) recently added drug use (especially cannabis) as an unlawful drug while serving in the military. The necessity of laws in almost all aspects of life whether in the military, business, or society require people to mind their P’s and Q’s. Marijuana use is on the rise throughout society through legal means, but the smoking of it may not be good for one’s health.
Smoking other products, such as cigarettes, is always harmful to one’s health that leads to an early death. Such is the case of Rose Cipollone, who engaged in smoking at the age of 16 and subsequently died at 58 years old (LeDuc, 2015). Prior to her death she brought suit to Liggett Group, Inc. for false advertising, fraudulently misrepresenting the hazards of smoking, and conspiracy to deprive the public of medical and scientific information about smoking (Melvin, 2011). However, Liggett Group, Inc. urged the courts to disregard the suit over federal statutes’ supremacy over state statutes in particular the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act and the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act (Melvin, 2011). Yes, smoking cigarettes do kill especially after smoking for over 40 years.
To believe that any company, especially tobacco companies, is in a business to kill its customers would be ridiculous. When a company provides a product that questionably puts its customers at risk for any potential side effect would require that company to use proper discretion to inform the public. In some cases, laws protect consumers where companies do not consider the welfare of the public and the companies will answer to their deceptive practices. The Consumer Protection Agency is one example of a way to keep companies in check while providing consumers access to a central location for reporting unsafe products. Laws prevent companies from taking advantage of people through false advertisements, but the laws also protect companies from other companies. Furthermore, frivolous lawsuits prevent individuals or groups from falsely accusing a company of criminal activity when there is none. Gone are the days when hostile takeovers or even burning down the business was a way to keep a company at bay, but protection requires rules and guidelines.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is in place to protect both the consumer and the company while providing guidelines for companies to conduct its business (Advertising and Marketing on the Internet: Rules of the Road, (n.d.). Society in a developed country require rules for it to function in a responsible way with standards, expectations, rules of conduct, measures, and a means to settle disputes, as stated by the FTC. In addition, the FTC makes efforts to help companies flourish, responsibly, maintaining competition. Although the state of New Jersey enacted laws protecting consumers from false advertising, the federal laws’ preemption power proved ultimate and thus the jurors in Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc. ruled in favor of the tobacco company while providing a monetary award to her widower husband.
The lawsuit is not always about the Benjamin’s nor