San Francisco Bans Indoor Tobacco Use, Allows Cannabis

In a turning of the tides, San Francisco moves to ban indoor smoking of tobacco while allowing for indoor cannabis smoking.

The green wave of cannabis legalization continues, as a San Francisco board of supervisors passed an amendment exempting cannabis use in apartments, while also banning tobacco and e-cigarette use.

The initial proposal was to make medical cannabis users exempt from the ban on indoor smoking, however, the board also allowed for recreational cannabis use in apartments due to its illegality in public.

Without the capacity to smoke in private, cannabis users would have nowhere else to consume the plant, which is becoming increasingly legal throughout the U.S. for private, personal consumption.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who authored the amendment to make cannabis use exempt, stated that "tobacco smokers and cannabis smokers are fundamentally in a different position under state law."

"Tobacco smokers, unable to smoke in their apartment building, can go out to the curb. There are other public spaces where they're allowed to smoke. Cannabis smokers don't have that alternative."

The allowance of cannabis smoking indoors in San Francisco follows a monumental move made by the U.N. to reclassify cannabis, removing it from being a Schedule IV substance alongside heroin. Additionally, a recent study found that CBD has no effect upon driving, and THC has only a mild effect for a few hours.

Each of these events represents a continued dissolve of the stigma surrounding cannabis, and suggests that we are headed toward a broader acceptance of cannabis in various contexts.

Moreover, on a more immediate basis, Congress is expected to vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act this week. This bill will remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances, federally decriminalizing it across the country.

The MORE Act will also expunge some criminal records associated with cannabis-based violations, allow more extensive testing and research into the drug and give veterans medicinal marijuana recommendations from the VA.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.