FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2019
CONTACT: Andrea Bitely
Defend MI Rights Coalition Statement on Judges Jonker, Stephens Denying Temporary Restraining Order
LANSING – The Defend MI Rights Coalition today released the following statement from spokeswoman Andrea Bitely on the federal and state judge’s denial of temporary restraining orders to halt government overreach:
“Hundreds of Michigan small business owners are now confronted with a difficult decision: shutting the doors of their business or be charged with a misdemeanor. Those who use vapor products also have a choice: whether or not to buy black market products. Our hope is that there is still time for a legislative remedy to this situation – one that doesn’t require 700 Michigan businesses to close their doors. We should be more focused on preventative measures to help educate kids on the dangers of underage use, rather than a blanket ban that will push otherwise law-abiding people to black market products and combustible cigarettes.”
We understand the plaintiffs in both suits are working with their attorneys to continue the fight.
According to media reports, Bob Wheaton, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, has said that most of the patients that have been diagnosed with lung disease after vaping consumed cannabis oil not nicotine-based vaping products, and no deaths have been reported yet in Michigan.
According to the most recent update from the Centers for Disease Control, products containing THC are playing a significant role in the outbreak of lung disease – with 77% of those diagnosed admitting to using THC-containing products. Due to the legal status of marijuana in many states, it is unknown how many were unwilling to admit to using a THC-based vape product based on a fear of prosecution.
Children are already banned from using vape products, and rightly so. However, Gov. Whitmer’s vaping ban tramples on the rights of Michigan adults to decide what legal products they consume and how they consume them.
Why should lawmakers oppose the vape ban?
It kills jobs. Hundreds of businesses will be forced to close and thousands hard-working Michiganders will lose their jobs if the ban goes into effect. This will harm communities throughout Michigan.
It’s unprecedented. The state has never before banned an entirely legal industry, killing 800 businesses and 4,500 jobs without any legislative debate or public input whatsoever. If the governor can eliminate vaping with the stroke of a pen, what’s to stop her from eliminating other industries she doesn’t like?
Bans don’t work. As we have seen with alcohol and marijuana, prohibition doesn’t work. By outlawing the vape products currently sold in stores, we are opening up a black market of products.
It wastes law enforcement resources. Enforcing prohibition of flavored vape products will pull law enforcement resources away from real issues impacting our communities like violent crime and the opioid epidemic.
It’s bad for consumers. In addition to being ineffective, the ban of non-tobacco flavors could also push current users back to combustible cigarettes.
We need the government to enforce and strengthen our current laws to keep harmful products away from children — not ban them for adults.
ABOUT DEFEND MI RIGHTS
The Defend MI Rights Coalition is an organization of civil liberties and small business advocates that have joined together to oppose the governor’s attempted vaping ban. This organization sees the ban as clear government overreach and a violation of the rights of Michigan adults to decide what products they buy and consume. Learn more at www.DefendMiRights.org.