The Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee approved a bill to ban smoking and vaping of tobacco, cannabis and other medicinal herbs in public housing. The bill, AB 62 by Assemblymember Jim Wood, passed by a unanimous vote and now proceeds to the full Assembly. Cannabis reformers are asking people to call their elected representatives to block this latest attack on patients.
North Coast Assy. Wood has a long record of imposing undue restrictions on medical marijuana patients and supports felony criminal penalties for non-medical adult use of cannabis, even opposing Proposition 64 during the 2016 campaign. County voters in some areas he represents supported legalization by one of the highest margins in the state, but that has not deterred Woods from his attacks on personal and medical use.
Now he is going after patients in their homes.
Opposition mounts to restriction
California NORML opposed the bill on the grounds that it bans cannabis as well as tobacco, making it impossible for medical cannabis patients to inhale their medicine legally. Unlike cannabis users, tobacco smokers are allowed to smoke in the streets, where public use of cannabis is banned under Prop 64. Cal NORML argued there is no reason to think that cannabis poses the same second-hand exposure risks as tobacco.
Other opponents of AB 62 included the ACLU, the Western Center on Law and Poverty and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. They argued against the inclusion of electronic cigarettes on the ground that it will increase the risk of eviction and therefore homelessness among public housing residents, which is a greater health risk than smoking.