Ruling made in roll your cigarettes lawsuit - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ruling made in roll your cigarettes lawsuit

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PASCO, Wash. -- Roll your own cigarettes will remain cheaper for now, thanks to a ruling in Franklin County Civil Court Monday afternoon.

The ruling gives roll your own tobacco shops a victory to protect themselves from higher taxes imposed by the state legislature.

Judge Bruce Spanner ruled that the new taxes cannot be forced on stores like the half price smokes shop in Kennewick.

The lawsuit argued the new taxes violate initiative 1053 which requires a two thirds majority vote in the state legislature for any tax increase.

And judge Spanner agreed, "We've been able to protect the jobs that are in place, that's beneficial to the local community and it's based on our constitutional framework in this state,"explains Chris Weiss, attorney for the defendants in the case.

Half price smokes employs 18 people, and the store's owner plans on hiring another 7 or 8 employees and opening another store in Pasco.

The judge instituted a temporary restraining order that would protect this afternoon's ruling. The defense expects the state to appeal.