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Santa Monica Shelves Smoking Ban

New smoking rules are on pause after two Santa Monica City Council members have a change of heart.

Don't put down the lighter just yet.

The City Council failed to put on the books Tuesday night new regulations that would have snuffed out smoking—medical marijuana included—in all newly-constructed apartments and condos in Santa Monica. The rules, which would have also required tenants in existing units to tell their landlords if they smoke, were approved two weeks ago on a 4-2 vote.

But the ordinance required a second vote before becoming law, and in what Mayor Richard Bloom called a "very unusual move," the ordinance failed on its second pass.

"What we’re simply doing is giving more thought to this," said City Councilwoman Gleam Davis, who was absent from the previous meeting.

Bloom and City Councilman Terry O'Day supported the rules July 10, but changed course Tuesday, saying they now believe the council needs to better assess how the smoking ordinance would affect medicinal marijuana users and landlords.

They will revisit the ordinance again in the months to come.

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"I have some concerns about this ordinance as we adopted it and include some of the issues that have been raised to me after-the-fact about medical marijuana users," said O'Day.

"I think the council and the ultimate decision-making will benefit from future discussion regarding medical marijuana," said Bloom.

The ordinance said landlords would be required to keep track and make public where smoking tenants lived.

Units occupied by residents who failed to disclose their smoking statuses would automatically become "non-smoking." Every unit that became vacant after the law were passed, would be designated "non-smoking," regardless of its prior designation. Those who smoke in "non-smoking" units would have faced fines upwards of $100.

Councilman Bob Holbrook said he would not be deterred in his support for the regulations after receiving emails from longtime residents referring to him as a "Nazi" and "Hitler."

"My motive is strictly a public health measure," he said. "It’s just time that we made homes and living spaces safe for people... we [would] certainly save them a lifetime of diseases that’s going to occur for sure."

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Jack July 25, 2012 at 05:43 AM
This is just another step in government control over private citizens lives. Holbrook says its is a public health measure but that does not pass the smell test. How does someone smoking in their unit affect the public health? Bueller? Add to this that there are significant conflicting studies about second hand smoke, more so in outdoor areas. There is no correlation with outdoor smoke, say on your porch, and some neighbor having cancer as a result. Bite by bite and like your dinner, you'll one day realize they ate the whole thing - your freedom. It's anti-American. No, I'm not a smoker either. Nice try at the discounting of the opinion though.
Carol July 25, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Show me one death certificate that states that someone died due to second hand smoke. Non-smoker
Rebecca A. Anderson July 25, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Life is so much better when you do not have to endure someone elses 2nd hand smoke. Those smokers take my freedom away.
oboogie July 25, 2012 at 06:46 PM
i don't smoke, but i believe people should have the right to smoke in their homes without any level of government interference. let people live as they choose. i have a very hard time believing our local government doesn't have more critical issues to address. stop this nonsense and work on things that really will improve our lives!
oboogie July 25, 2012 at 07:37 PM
what should the the penelty be for burning incense or scented candles?
Jill July 25, 2012 at 09:51 PM
The first time I lived in Santa Monica was in the year 1966. There was no business park, there were no office complexes on or between Cloverfield and Olympic, the Mirama was I think the only expensive hotel, there was no Santa Monica Place. The promanade was anchored by Penneys and a wonderful store callled Europa and a little run down. Senior citizens lived in hotels on Ocean Ave. Fast forward to the reality of living on O.P. Blvd. for thirty years and watching a slow disaster. You have to wipe soot of your T.V. screen every day, and hope only heaven helps your window screens. Come pick a lemon off my tree in the summer months that is covered with soot, oil, and grunge, that needs to be bathed with soap and bleach. The problem with S.M. City council is they think there is only one Santa Monica. Rich folks north of Wilshire and the rest of Santa Monica where their tax base resides. And now a train?? One more thing people living south of Wilshire have to deal with.
Jill July 25, 2012 at 11:03 PM
That is a fine sentiment to have if you do not live near the transit corridors of Santa Monica. If you think smokers are taking away your freedom, when Santa Monica has become a nightmare for the people loving south of Wilshire. What can i say?. You are where you live.
RJ July 26, 2012 at 01:25 PM
.....hey Berrett, so if something is so "hard to isolate" just how do you know what if anything said "thing" actually does? The really kicker is when you use the phrase "This is true....". What a misuse of a word. Again if something is "hard to isolate" how did you determine it to be "True"??? Yes, something may warrant our attention but please don't misuse/manipulate the English language to fit an agenda.
RJ July 26, 2012 at 01:36 PM
.....yup Rebecca, your "text/twitter" length comment indicates you've selectively ignored many details. Seems you've also sucumbed to misleading propaganda also. An example.... the commercial that suggest second hand smoke creeeeps into adjacent apartments/condos through the ventilation grills in your unit. If second hand smoke is creeping in from an adjacent unit and spreading through an apartment/condo the owner has a much larger issue....it means fire/smoke can also creep in. Thats not suppose to happen in normal construction. Now if someone is standing outside your window blowing smoke then thats an issue.....especially if you live on a normal street in SM filled with car/bus exhaust. So what other misleading things regarding "2nd hand smoke" do you believe?
Helen July 26, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Bottom line ... it is a legal substance.

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