Here’s a decision that cannabis consumers will want to pay attention to: San Francisco just became the biggest city in the United States to ban the smoking of tobacco in apartments because of concerns about secondhand smoke. However, it’s still OK to smoke cannabis.
Why? Because you can’t smoke cannabis anywhere else in California where, like other states, the law doesn’t allow use in public places. That “Catch-22” led members of the Board of Supervisors to ban tobacco smoking but pull out a provision that called for banning cannabis smoking, as well.
“Unlike tobacco smokers who could still leave their apartments to step out to the curb or smoke in other permitted outdoor smoking areas, cannabis users would have no such legal alternatives,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who wrote the amendment to exempt cannabis, according to the Associated Press.
San Francisco Is Not Alone On This Issue
While San Francisco is the highest profile city to enact a smoking ban, it’s not the first. Another 63 cities and counties in California have similar bans, including Santa Clara, Berkeley and Alameda.
Arguments against the idea focus on the idea that banning smoking in a private dwelling infringes on the resident’s rights.
However, those who favor the ban note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 41,000 people die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke. That’s an issue in apartment buildings, especially in units where people are packed together in dense living conditions.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors saw it their way, passing the motion by a 10-1 vote.
Where You Can Use Cannabis Has Long Been An Issue
Cannabis users have been grappling with the issue of where you can use marijuana since legalization started.
If you live in a state where cannabis is legal, you can choose to use it in your home, but nowhere else. And for renters, even using cannabis at home may not be possible. That’s because a landlord can ban the use of cannabis in their rentals.
There’s also the issue of visitors. Those who come to places such as Colorado or Nevada must find accommodations that allow them to use cannabis. Many hotel chains ban the use of marijuana, so travelers must search for Airbnb and other online services for cannabis-friendly locations.
Cannabis cafes are also an option, but they have been slow to develop in most places because of opposition from law enforcement and the complexity of writing laws around the issue (where it’s allowed, how much people can consume, etc.).
However, if the San Francisco vote is any indication, cannabis users won’t have to worry about being banned from smoking cannabis in their own home (if the landlord allows it, that is).