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New laws: No caffeine in beer, shark fins in soup

[California delegates cheering on stagecoach a...
Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

California bans among laws set to take effect across nation

By Valerie Richardson-The Washington Times Monday, December 26, 2011

DENVER — Starting Jan. 1, getting shark fins, caffeinated beer, cough syrup or a tan is going to be tougher than it was in 2011.

The National Conference of State Legislatures issued Monday its annual list of laws set to take effect in 2012, and there was nothing but bad news for connoisseurs of shark-fin soup. Oregon and California passed laws prohibiting the sale, trade, or distribution of the fins, which are considered a delicacy in China.

California also became the first state in the nation to require a prescription for obtaining any drug containing dextromethorphan, an ingredient found in many popular over-the-counter cough suppressants, including Robitussin, NyQuil and Dimetapp.

The law was prompted by a spike in the use of cough syrup as a recreational drug. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel considered making the medications prescription-only, but rejected the idea in September.

Voter identification continued to be a hot topic for legislators in 2011. Four states — Kansas, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas — approved laws requiring voters to present photo identification before casting ballots.

A fifth state, South Carolina, had passed its own voter-identification law, but it was overturned Dec. 23 by the Justice Department. South Carolina is required to... http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/26/new-12-laws-no-caffeine-in-beer-shark-fins-in-soup/

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