What Happened With Tobacco 21?
Tobacco 21 rules failed Monday night, on a 4-3 vote, meaning that particular change won't be coming to Mankato.
But it also ended up nullifying North Mankato's approved ban.
The North Mankato city council made their Tobacco 21 ordinance contingent upon Mankato passing a similar change.
Mankato rejected it, so as of now, North Mankato's is dead in the water.
One thought that's been popping up is to leave it to the state - let the Legislature make that call.
"We will be working actively with our local legislators, who are in favor of Tobacco 21 legislation to get it moving forward at the state level - which is really a better solution because then it's an even playing field across the entire state, rather than doing it community by community," said North Mankato mayor Mark Dehen.
There's also a chance that some clarification over criminalization could change votes, that is, charging 18-20 olds using or possessing tobacco with a crime, rather than focusing on fining stores that sell to anyone under the age of 21.
There seemed to be some confusion in the crowd and with some council members that voted against the measure last night, with the idea that the ordinance change would make criminals out of young people, disproportionately young people of color.
Despite City Manager Pat Hentges saying up front that it would not.
"As far as enforcement and adaptability, we did take out, specifically, the possession and use by those under 21. It still exists, via state law, for minors. I don't know under the current code, under the current provision, if we have ever issued a citation for a minor," Hentges said Monday night.
-- KEYC News 12