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The Vallejo City Council has approved a ban on smoking in multi-unit residences and other publicly accessible places.
The majority of public speakers on the agenda item at the council’s May 10 meeting supported the ban, though a few wanted to keep cannabis out of the equation, citing the need for some people to smoke it in their home as medicine.
California state law says that any outdoor smoking bans must include all forms of smoking, even cannabis, according to City Attorney Veronica Nebb. But as for indoors, the city ordinance as passed makes no mention of cannabis, only tobacco.
Tuesday’s 4-1 vote brought Vallejo into compliance with state law, according to the staff report. According to the California Air Resources Board, the state is referred to as “America’s Non-Smoking Section,” having been the first in the nation to enact public and workplace smoking laws in 1995.
Residents who asked the council to leave the smoking of cannabis out of the ban said they did not want to be “criminalized again” for smoking pot. Others said that for some, edibles, vapes, and other methods of cannabis ingestion were not as effective for people who need fast relief from their medical symptoms.
The council bandied about the idea of allowing smoking lounges at dispensaries for people who need to inhale cannabis smoke for their conditions, though some public commenters said that it is not feasible to make a sick person who may have mobility issues get to a dispensary to smoke.
Ultimately, there was no language in the new ordinance about cannabis smoking in or outdoors, though Vallejo is now compliant with California law barring cannabis smoking in public places.
As for publicly accessible places in Vallejo affected by the ban, people will no longer be able to smoke in parks, on sidewalks, public events, or any place that is open to the general public.
Vallejo joins at least six other Bay Area cities and one county in instituting the multi-housing ban, which is an attempt to shield nonsmokers from second-hand smoke where they live.
The 4-1 vote passed with Councilmember Tina Arriola dissenting. Mayor Robert McConnell recused himself from the vote because he is a landlord, and Councilmember Hakeem Brown recused himself as well, as he owns a cannabis dispensary and a grow site in town.