Vaping News

Store Owners Go To Court

Ron and Deanna Marshal of Freedom Vapes have filed a lawsuit against Gallatin City County Board of Health

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Ron and Deanna Marshal’s business has been under threat from narrow-minded action restricting how they trade. The tenacious owners of Freedom Vapes have progressed from their original Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and threats of taking the matter further – and have filed a lawsuit against the Gallatin City County Board of Health.

The hard-working entrepreneurs uncovered a wealth of information when they submitted an FOI request. After ploughing through the material they realised they had enough to mount a legal challenge against the legislation requiring their customers to stand outside their vape stores is they wanted to use their devices.

The couple contend that Gallatin County has “stepped out of bounds” when it approved vaping to be included in Montana’s Clean Indoor Air Act.

The petition states: “The Marshall’s business model is structured so that customers can sample products in their shop to determine what flavor the customer wants to purchase."

It continues: “The BOH (Board of Health) had essentially pre-voted on its inclusion of electronic nicotine delivery devices, without public comment or any information from parties opposing inclusion under the CIAA enforcement, and well before the BOH meeting.”

Arguments offered up in support of the ban included the debunked so-called ‘gateway effect’ for teens into smoking and the (non-existent) dangers of second-hand vape.

The Marshalls own three stores, two of which fall under this legislation. If vapers vape inside their stores they face a fine of between $25 and $100 in the first instance. If this happens three times within three years, the Marshalls could be fined between $100 and $500 for each instance.

Deanna has told her social media followers: “We will be going after the proponents mentioned in this lawsuit. In the same relentless way they have come after us!”

“This is good stuff. They are going to lose in court. Notice the last page. Run through ACS/CAN. That is where the problem starts. This will set precedence and we can get Yellowstone county to end that ban too.”

“We are going after the lobbyists who had a hand in this too. Sending a large stack of FOIA emails to the AGs office. They just didn't realize who they picked a fight with. I don't quit, EVER!”

The Marshalls have already been successful in forcing Ravalli County Board of Health to reverse its decision to ban indoor vaping following the couple obtaining 4000+ double-sided pages through a FOI request.

Vapers can support the determined duo by donating to the couple’s Go Fund Me page. “The funds donated will go directly to our attorney, Megan S. Winderl of Markette & Chouinard,” says Ron.

Needless to say, POTV wishes them all the best in their legal action.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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