A Genese County Circuit Court judge ruled that the Michigan county’s new tobacco purchasing age increase is “unenforceable.”
The lawsuit was brought on by RPF Oil, a Michigan-based gas distributor that owns four retail gas stations, which argued that the new law was in violations of the state’s Age of Majority Act and Youth Tobacco Act.
Judge Judith Fullerton sided with RPF Oil. The Age of Majority Act states that anyone age 18 and older is considered an adult of legal age “for all purposes whatsoever.”
The new law was passed in February and was set to go into effect in May 14 but was delayed because of the lawsuit.
Interestingly, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette argued that a similar effort in Ann Arbor was also likely in violation of the Age of Majority Act. Genesse County’s attorney general also sided with the oil company. He said the new law could be considered willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.
Genesee County has a population of approximately 425,790 people, which makes it the fifth-most populous county in Michigan. It is located approximately 75 miles northwest of Detroit and includes the city of Flint, which is the county seat.