A report in the Washington Examiner featuring a new law about to go into effect in California is causing quite a stir.

Contributor Travis Allen reports that starting Sunday, prostitution by minors will be legal in the Golden State.

SB 1322 bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.

..Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, a national leader on human trafficking issues, told the media, “It just opens up the door for traffickers to use these kids to commit crimes and exploit them even worse.” Another prosecutor insightfully observed that if traffickers wrote legislation to protect themselves, it would read like SB 1322.

Taking a look at the law in more depth at the background of Senate Bill 1322, it was the product of long-term efforts to stem the problem of human trafficking and child prostitution. A new program developed jointly by several federal agencies, Innocence Lost, trained local officers to recognize the signs of a child prostitute without having to be an expert. In part, the law stems from their experiences.

Starting January 1, it is still illegal for adults to solicit minors for sex and for adults to make those arrangements.

What does this mean for ‘Johns’- the people who solicit sex from minors- and sex traffickers?

Soliciting for sex is still illegal. ‘Johns’ will still face the same legal consequences for illegal prostitution. Sex traffickers and pimps will also be held accountable for their crimes, as the laws have only changed for those who are underage prostitutes.

Furthermore, it allows those under the 18 to be taken into protective services if they are engaging in prostitution. It also permits law enforcement officers to take minors into temporary custody if they are found to be loitering in bust stops or bathrooms, or otherwise engaging in at risk activities.

Governor Jerry Brown approved other measures, in addition to SB 1322, that focused on fighting the scourge of human trafficking.

He also signed bills allowing people to defend themselves against additional criminal charges or records if they were coerced to commit an offense as a human trafficking victim.

Others will raise the age from 13 to 15 that kids can testify outside a courtroom in human trafficking cases, protect victims’ names from disclosure and mandate they have access to county services.

The approach taken by the new law might have merit. For example, an Uber driver recently rescued a 16-year old girl from traffickers because he recognized the signs of prostitution and was able to notify law enforcement. The girl, a runaway, was reunited with her family.

However, there are still plenty of crazy, new laws in California.

Sports fans can no longer root for any California team named “Redskins.” Assembly Bill 30 now bans such “racist and insensitive” mascot terms. …

Senate Bill 880 further tightened gun ownership rights. Now illegal are semi-automatic centerfire rifles that have a protruding pistol grip or a folding or telescoping stock. And don’t you dare loan it to anyone in California; Assembly Bill 1511 will make you an unwilling guest of the Golden State’s prison system.

Assembly Bill 1887 prohibits state agencies from requiring employees to travel to states which have laws permitting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender. State employees who go there on their own hook cannot be reimbursed by the state for travel to such states.

So, while I understand the concern over SB 1322, I suspect it will be one of the better laws passed by our zany legislators in 2016.