Hawaii just became the 7th state to legalize assisted suicide. My first thought: cha-ching! Hawaii’s tourism director has to be thrilled. (First of all-what a dream job. How hard is it to entice visitors to your state when you’re Hawaii?). Nevertheless, if this person has half a brain, this new law could be a boon to Hawaii’s travel industry. Think about it. Who wouldn’t want to live the last remaining months in a gorgeous, tropical setting? Imagine the advertising slogans. Hawaii: Death in Paradise-Literally; or Make Hawaii Your Final Destination-For Real; or Hawaii: Where People are Dying to Visit; and finally, Hawaii: The Last Checkmark on Your Bucket List.
Gallup does a poll each year asking Americans where they would travel if money were no object. Hawaii is always at the top of the list. I’m sure that people who know they won’t be around when the bills arrive will spare no expense when it comes to planning where they wish to leave this world. Hawaii wins without even trying.
This new travel campaign will benefit other Hawaiian businesses. Hawaii requires six months residency to take advantage of this new law. What a hardship-live in Hawaii for six months? This means airbnb reservations will not only increase, but owners will have 100% occupancy for longer stretches of time, thereby eliminating having to constantly find tenants. One piece of advice for you landlords: Make sure everyone pays in advance (see previous paragraph). To piggyback this growth in lodging, sales for every forbidden or junk food will skyrocket. I don’t know about you, but if my days are numbered, I’m eating all the ice cream, chocolate, and chips I can devour.
States would kill for such a growth opportunity (forgive the pun). Fortunately, only six other states sanction assisted suicide, so Hawaii doesn’t have much to worry about in terms of competition. California may give them a run, but who wants to contend with smog, earthquakes, and spending your few remaining months stuck in traffic when you can be lounging on a beach sipping mai tais. Vermont may seem enticing for end of life residency, but if you don’t want to be considered a Flatlander for all eternity, or your last taste and smell on earth to be that of maple syrup, you may want to pass. Though, Ben & Jerry’s every single day could be appealing.
Hawaii reaps one more benefit from passing this law. For generations, people have continually requested that their ashes to be spread at sea. My God, Hawaii is an island – an indescribably gorgeous one at that – so how much more convenient can you get? It’s one stop shopping. Live out your days in beauty, say your farewells, and you really are just a shell’s throw away from your final resting place.
P.S. Aloha means both hello and farewell –does it get any better for this state?