01 November 2010

American Legion Post ordered to comply with Smoking Ban

The Detroit Free Press

A renegade American Legion post in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been ordered to implement Michigan’s ban on smoking in public places, at least temporarily, pending the resolution of a lawsuit filed by the vets seeking an exemption.

An injunction ordering an end to smoking at Post 444 in Baraga was issued earlier this week by Houghton County Circuit Court Judge Charles Goodman and, after a clarification hearing Thursday, the post erected no smoking signs at its doors and removed ashtrays, Commander Rick Geroux said in a statement today.

“We are troubled by this ruling because we expect it will have a severe economic impact on our operations,” Geroux said, citing facilities owned by Indian tribes exempt from the ban, one only a few blocks away.

Geroux said he remained hopeful the injunction will be lifted following additional court proceedings.

A spokeswoman for the Campaign for Smokefree Air, which lobbied the Legislature to approve a smoking ban, praised the ruling.

“A majority of Michigan residents have accepted the new law with open arms,” Judy Stewart said.

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