Jones bill supports mom and pop stores

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones on Thursday introduced legislation to protect small business owners against city ordinances that conflict with state law.

The city of Ann Arbor recently passed a local ordinance banning the sale of cigarettes to people under age 21. It is the first city in Michigan to raise the legal purchasing age above 18.

“This local law will do absolutely nothing to stop people from smoking; they will simply drive just outside the city and purchase what they want,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “However, it will really harm the owners of small mom and pop stores and gas stations in the city who are just trying to make a living.”

Jones’ measure, Senate Bill 1066, would prohibit a local unit of government from banning a legal product to supersede state law.

“I think it’s very hypocritical that Ann Arbor, a city that encourages recreational marijuana smoking, would put in this ban,” Jones said. “Ann Arbor allows the ‘Hash Bash’ every year and puts a tiny fine on recreational pot smoking.”

SB 1066 has been referred to the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee for consideration.