Spitting and Fortune-Telling Decriminalized in Grand Rapids

Posted at 10:27 AM, Mar 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-11 15:03:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Predicting future events and ‘hurling a loogie’ are now legal in the city of Grand Rapids.

It’s okay to ‘expectorate’ (or ‘spit’) in public.

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

City attorney Catherine Mish presents a few laws to commission every so often for repeal.

The city consulted with the Kent County Health Department on the ordinance that outlawed ‘expectorating’.

“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,” Adam London, a Kent County health officer said in a statement.

London added, “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.”

Another law dropped from the books on Tuesday includes: the law against removing a birds’ nest from one’s own property. Only police were allowed to do so under the old law.

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