San Francisco eyes outdoor smoking ban... except for pot, of course

No matter what your personal feelings may be about smoking, it still may be worth your time to keep an eye on how, where and when the government regulates that particular activity. There are any number of public buildings, offices and general access facilities where even I will agree that the local government can put a ban on lighting up. When it comes to the great outdoors, however, their reach seems to exceed their grasp, in my never very humble opinion. But San Francisco appears poised to try just that.

Supervisor Eric Mar said he introduced the proposal because of the health impacts of secondhand smoke when people light up in public.

“It’s widely known that secondhand smoke is responsible for as many as 73,000 deaths among non-smokers each year in the United States, and there is no safe level of exposure,” he said.

Like Alameda and several other Bay Area cities, San Francisco already restricts smoking in outdoor seating areas of cafes and restaurants, as well as near building entrances and vents. San Jose has similar smoking restrictions.

But even if they do it, they won’t ban all smoking it seems. The exception?

“It’s carefully crafted also to exclude smaller neighborhood organized events such as block parties. And also, importantly, it does not prohibit the use of medical cannabis,” Mar said.

Well, obviously you’d make the important exemption for people smoking pot. I mean, we’ll tell you not to light up a Lucky Strike or open a beer, but we’re not going to get between you and your weed. We’re not animals for God’s sake.