Current Tobacco restrictions in the City of Robbinsdale is imposed under City Code Chapter 11, Section 1132. Reading the gory, 4-page details leaves more questions than answers, including.
- How many children who have violated the City Tobacco code have been charged with misdemeanors?
- Of those children charged with Tobacco misdemeanor, how many have been jailed and fined? What is their quality of life post incarceration?
- How many adults who have violated the City Tobacco code have been charged with misdemeanors? Of those adults, how many fall in the 18-21 group being targeted for prohibition? What is the incarceration and fine rate? What is their quality of life post incarceration?
- In Robbinsdale, at what rate are children being sold Tobacco products by adults? Is the rate the same as in other cities that warrants City Council copying their criminalization strategy? Or, is the Robbinsdale rate different enough that we should perhaps design our own strategy?
It is illegal in Robbinsdale for minors (anyone under 18-years of age) to purchase or use Tobacco or use a fake ID to purchase Tobacco. In addition, it is illegal for adults (anyone 18-years or older) to sell or give Tobacco products to minors under city law. Anyone violating these or any other part of Section 1132 “shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” A misdemeanor carries a 90-day jail sentence and/or $1,000 fine and/or both, and would be in addition to an administrative city fines up to $1,000 per incident. As far as I understand, this is potentially in addition to the jail time and fines under State law.
Searching the crime map and statistics tool on the Robbinsdale Police Department’s page, there were no arrests – adults nor minors – for selling tobacco to minors under either MN Stat. 609.685 or Robbinsdale’s City Code Section 1132 within the last 12 months. Which means either the City has had no minor-related tobacco violations or the City is not enforcing current law.
Check back often, as I’ll be posting more information soon on this topic as I find out about them. Comment below with additional thoughts on why criminalizing is not the best approach for our city.