University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, MI, and is home to over 43,000 students. Students at U of M and residents of Ann Arbor can purchase legal marijuana on just about every corner. But purchasing legal cigarettes just became a problem for anyone under the age of 21, despite a state law that allows anyone 18 years of age or older to purchase legal tobacco products in the state of Michigan.

Why, and how can a city council make these kinds of emotional decisions that supersede state law?…Because liberals always know what’s best for you…There is no room for discussion. Decisions made by progressive government officials don’t have to be based on logic, or in this case, on state law; they just have to have enough emotion behind them to sway their comrades on the city council. 

This story is a perfect example of why Americans need to know who is running for city council in their hometowns and major cities when election time comes around…

The Ann Arbor City Council last week voted for an ordinance that will ban the sale of tobacco products to people under 21, making it the first city in Michigan to raise the legal purchasing age from 18.

Kai Petainen, an Ann Arbor resident who attended the city council meeting, said he recently went to a funeral of a 23-year-old who died from a drug overdose. That friend used tobacco as a gateway drug, he said.

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“It’s a funeral of a person who died at only 23 and it was from an overdose. That person began using tobacco at a young age, and eventually they were using other drugs as well,” he said. “Tobacco use can lead to other drugs and it can and does destroy lives.”

Tobacco shops in Ann Arbor have said the ordinance will drive customers out of the city.

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AA City Council

The Council voted 9-2 on Aug. 4 for an ordinance sponsored by Council Member Julie Grand, a Democrat representing the city’s 3rd Ward.

Ann Arbor officials were explicit about their lack of concern with whether the ordinance conflicts with state law, and that they hope the rest of the state follows the city’s lead.

Kirk Westphal
Kirk Westphal

“The tobacco lobby has inflicted enough misery on this country and I’m happy to do anything we can to play a leadership role on this effort in Michigan,” Kirk Westphal, a Democratic council member from the 2nd Ward said, according to The Ann Arbor News.

“It’s particularly important to me,” said Council Member Chip Smith, a Democrat from the 5th Ward. “But really what compels me to support this is the fact that Ann Arbor is a leader in things, and this is exactly the type of thing we should be leading on, and I’m very happy to support this.”

Chip Smith
Chip Smith

In addition to the apparent conflict with a state law preempting local regulations, critics of the ordinance are concerned that its effect would be to send people under 21 to neighboring cities like Ypsilanti or Canton to buy tobacco products.

Jack Eaton, a Democrat from the 4th Ward, and Jane Lumm, an independent from the 2nd Ward, voted against the ordinance. According to The Ann Arbor News, they cited Michigan’s Tobacco Products Tax Act of 1993 as the cause for their concern.

The act says municipalities “shall not impose any new requirement or prohibition pertaining to the sale or licensure of tobacco products for distribution purposes.” – MICapCon

This new ordinance that will prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21 years, goes hand-in-hand with the University of Michigan’s NO SMOKING ANYWHERE ON CAMPUS law that went into effect on July 1, 2011.

Watch the idiocy of this intrusive campus law explained here:

Meanwhile, Michigan State University just made it ILLEGAL to SMOKE TOBACCO IN YOUR OWN PRIVATE VEHICLE as long as you are on campus property!

Beginning on Aug. 15, a new tobacco-free policy at Michigan State University will make drivers subject to a $150 fine for choosing to smoke or chew tobacco while traveling on public roads that cross the school’s East Lansing campus.

The ordinance was passed by the board of trustees on June 17, 2015. Its effective date was set for more than a year later on Aug. 15, 2016.

“A new policy is an effective, cost-efficient way to protect the health of the campus community and encourage tobacco users to reduce or eliminate consumption, thus increasing life, longevity and vitality,” the MSU tobacco-free website states. “Most tobacco users want to quit, and tobacco-free environments encourage users to quit and help them maintain a tobacco and nicotine free status.”

Students and MSU employees could face additional sanctions.

“Students who continually violate the ordinance could face sanction through the student judicial system, and employees could face repercussions via Human Resources (just as students and employees could for violating any MSU ordinance),” Cody said.

The ban also extends to the use of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco on campus, including inside a private vehicle.




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