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Spitting & Fortune-Telling Are No Longer Illegal In Grand Rapids

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If you’re into predicting the future or have an affinity for spitting, you’re in luck! Those two things are no longer illegal in they city of Grand Rapids.

That’s right, both spitting and fortune-telling were once outlawed in the city. But on Tuesday, Grand Rapids city commissioners voted unanimously to repeal those ordinances and several others. It’s a continued effort by the city’s legal department to drop antiquated laws from the books.

City attorney Catherine Mish presents a few laws to commission every so often for repeal. Last week we learned that she was trying to remove the portion of city law that made it illegal to be “willfully annoying”.

The city consulted with the Kent County Health Department on the ordinance that outlawed “expectorating” (spitting).

Adam London, a Kent County health officer said in a statement:

Spitting in public has long been regarded as a potential health threat, in addition to having a negative social context. The health threat was connected to illness and disease such as tuberculosis.

There are still some health and safety threats association with spitting in public, i.e. influenza, slipping on spit, however, the Kent County Health Department does not view spitting in public as a serious health threat in this era.

Also removed on Tuesday was a law that made it illegal to remove a bird’s nest from one’s own property. Under the old law, only police were allowed to do so.

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