The SF Board of Supervisors Rules Committee is going to hear an ordinance to ban use of e-cigs in non-smoking areas this Thursday, Mar. 6th at 2 PM, Room 263, City Hall. The ordinance would make it illegal for medical marijuana patients to vaporize anywhere smoking is banned – including parks, businesses, restaurants and coffee houses, public housing, etc.
Letters of support or opposition may be sent by email and cc’d to: Alisa Miller, Clerk of the Rules Committee (to be included in the legislative file).
The Rules Committee can do one of several things.
!. Vote not to recommend it go to the Supervisors
2. Vote to recommend it to the Supervisors
3. Vote to pass to the Supervisors with out recommendation
4. Hold it
Studies have shown that vaporizers effectively remove the noxious toxins from cannabis smoke, delivering an effectively pure stream of medically active cannabinoid vapor. While there is evidence that some nictoine e-cigs emit trace levels of certain non-pyrolytic toxins, the amounts observed are well below established safety thresholds and present no credible risk to bystanders.
The proponent, Eric Mar, has tried to pretend that the bill doesn’t affect MMJ patients by including a clause saying it doesn’t affect “any laws or regulations regarding medical cannabis.” In fact, the bill defines e-cigs broadly to include any vaporization device, and there is NO law or regulation protecting access to medical cannabis vaporizers except a provision allowing on-site consumption at certain dispensaries. Of course, this won’t protect patients in public housing, the parks, or in businesses or public accommodations, etc. In practice, the outlawing of nicotine e-cigs would prompt police to arrest anyone with any device resembling an e-cig in their mouth, regardless of whether it had nicotine, cannabis or peppermint – it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference without inhaling on them.
Proof of how far amok SF’s anti-smoking law has gone amok was evident at the INTCHE cannabis rally at City Hall Plaza last year, where a delegation of park police were on hand to bust attendees for smoking in the park. Before the park smoking ban, this event went off trouble-free with minimal police presence. If this ordinance passes, look for the City to waste even more police time on nanny-state health crimes. What ever happened to San Francisco’s reputation for tolerance?
– Dale Gieringer, Cal NORML
Also see: Blowing Smoke About E-Cigarettes