<b>Secondhand pot smoke</b>

EDITOR: As chairman of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Sonoma County, I read with great interest the article about Santa Rosa's medical marijuana regulations ("SR eases restrictions on pot dispensaries," Jan. 8).

The coalition is concerned about secondhand smoke, which includes both tobacco and marijuana. Our member agencies have been working on the issue of smoke-free apartment housing for several years, and we regularly receive complaints from residents of Santa Rosa who are suffering from secondhand smoke exposure in their apartments, including families with children and elderly residents. All too frequently, the smoke that they are complaining about is their neighbor's medical marijuana.

This sheds light on the need to revisit and strengthen the protections for individuals and families who don't wish to consume their neighbor's marijuana. In 2013, the Petaluma City Council opted to include marijuana smoke in an ordinance that prohibits smoking in apartments, and we applaud that choice. Around the same time, the city of Santa Rosa identified revising its tobacco ordinance as a goal for 2014.

The need for protections from unwanted marijuana smoke is even more evident now that Santa Rosa residents have greater access to medical marijuana, and we hope that the City Council can take measures as soon as possible to protect city residents from secondhand smoke of all types.


Chairman, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Sonoma County