The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to ban tobacco smoking in apartment buildings of three of more units but did not extend the ban to cannabis, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. With the vote, the city is the largest in the country to prohibit tobacco-smoking in apartments.
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman authored the cannabis exemption amendment arguing that public cannabis use is illegal under state law and the ban would take away some citizens’ only legal place to smoke cannabis.
“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.” – Mandelman, during the meeting
Smoking cigarettes and cannabis is banned in common spaces such as stairwells and hallways under California law and many landlords completely prohibit tenants from smoking inside. The new city law makes it illegal for anyone living in a multi-unit building to smoke indoors. Similar laws are on the books in 63 other California cities.
Enforcing the law is up to the Department of Public Health, who will first try to help violators quit smoking but repeat offenders could be fined $1,000 per day. Violators may not be evicted under the ordinance.
The proposal needs to be approved a second time by the board – which passed the broad measure 10-1 and the cannabis exemption 8-3 – before moving to the mayor for final approval. The second vote is seen as a formality.