Cannabis Exempted From SF Indoor Smoking Ban

Ordinance bans apartment dwellers from smoking tobacco at home
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2020 11:31 AM CST
Tobacco Smoking Banned, Cannabis OK in SF Apartments
In this June 17, 2019, photo, a worker takes a vaping break from his job at a smoke shop in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Samantha Maldonado, File)

Smokers who live in San Francisco apartment buildings are going to be restricted to smoking inside or smoking outside, depending on what they're smoking. The city's Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 this week in favor of an ordinance to ban tobacco smoking in apartment buildings with three or more units, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. But the proposal was amended in an 8-3 vote to allow people to smoke cannabis indoors, since state law bans them from smoking it in public. "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.

The ban, intended to protect residents of multi-unit buildings from secondhand smoke, is expected to be signed by Mayor London Breed later this month. It will go into effect 30 days later. The ordinance also bans e-cigarette use. San Francisco is the biggest city in the country to ban tobacco smoking inside apartments, the AP reports. More than 60 other California cities and counties already have similar bans in place. Violators could be fined up to $1,000 a day, reports CNN, but the ordinance requires the health department to educate offenders and try to help them quit smoking before fines are issued. (More San Francisco stories.)

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