The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Milestones: Up In Smoke

Mayor Lisa Gillmor and her Council majority continue to baffle and abuse the law of common sense.

You may recall our Council discussed at length how they would approach the regulation of marijuana business. While they were sure they would approve a hefty tax on the marijuana use, they would wait to see how other cities rolled out the approved distribution.

Yet, before one marijuana retailer has been approved in Santa Clara, this Council passed an ordinance banning smoking in all multi-unit residential buildings, even personally owned condominiums and town homes. Really? This seems contradictory if not hypocritical. Somehow it seems to infringe on the constitutional rights of residents. But that aside, consider that first; most multi-use complexes already enforce rather rigid rules regarding smoking and second; there is no raging demand by the community to enforce such a punitive ordinance.


Even with this Council’s generous and very questionable 21 percent salary increase to the SCPD over the past 21 months, the SCPD doesn’t have the resources to police such nuisance ordinances.

As many readers know, people have been using marijuana for recreational and medical purposes for decades. If an incapacitated homeowner is caught smoking medical marijuana in their personally paid-for home, should be incarcerated?

Where do these Council people come from?

While cigarette smoking may still be an irritation to some, smokers have been disappearing on their own. Since the year 2000, the number of smokers in California is half of what it was and continues to decrease. The sin tax increases on tobacco have raised billions for California.

This has created a separate issue. When California passed the huge tobacco tax in the late 90’s they bonded the tax. They got the money upfront, spent it, and were going to repay the bond from the higher taxes. Well, so many people quit smoking the legislature didn’t have the money to repay the bond. This forced our legislature to pass another higher tobacco tax a few years ago just to make the payments. Guess what, more people stopped smoking.

We already have State and County laws prohibiting smoking just about everywhere. Redundancy and punitive ordinances are a waste of our overtaxed City resources.

Then we have the issue of personal rights. There are protections of the rights of people to make decisions (good or bad) within their own homes and this ordinance may be infringing on the personal rights of the individual.

If this ordinance is directed at the protection of people’s health, we have much bigger fish to fry. When we burn through one gallon of gas in our car, we release about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. If it is pollution this Council is attempting to curtail, maybe they could focus on the real culprit causing 90% of the world’s air pollution issues.

It just seems that our City has more critical issues that require attention, that could create meaningful and lasting benefits to our residents.

But then, you would have to have common sense…which seems to have gone up in smoke.


1 Comment
  1. Vicki Harvey 5 years ago

    I support the no smoking ordinance and as a person with lung disease I have rights to breathe clean air. Breathing second hand smoke makes me very sick. It is a bit more than just an irritation for many. I live in a condominium complex and it has very strict rules about smoking. There are other ways people can take in pot besides killing your lungs. I pray for a smoke free life for our children.

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