Reason Online- March 8, 2006:

Because it’s getting hard to keep track of all the places where you’re not allowed to smoke, the city council of Calabasas, California, decided to start over from scratch and make things simple. “Smoking is prohibited everywhere in the city,” says a Calabasas ordinance that takes effect on March 17, “except as otherwise provided.”

Tellingly, a provision that would have permitted outdoor smoking in the presence of nonsmokers with their consent was removed from the final version of the Calabasas ban. So if you’re in some deserted part of the city in the middle of the night with a friend who smokes, he is allowed to light up only if you do too.

I love this following exchange. Michael Hafken, a public information specialist for the City of Calabasas replied to the article by saying…

Please note that there is NO possible jail time for a violation of the Comprehensive Secondhand Smoke Control Ordinance in the City of Calabasas. Penalties range from warnings (most cases) to a potential $500 fine for extreme, repeated and willful violations. Violations are coded as infractions and NOT misdemeanors.

So the author wrote back…

pointing out that the ordinance says, “A violation of this ordinance shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable pursuant to chapter 1.16 of this code [which specifies a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine] unless the prosecutor determines to prosecute it as an infraction as authorized by section 1.16.010(a).”

So the public information minister, er, I mean specialist, admitted…

I should have said that the City has publicly maintained that there are no plans to treat violations as misdemeanors.

  1. SkyFly says:

    Well… smoking is bad for the health, no doubt about that. So maybe we should instead take some deeeep breaths from a passing Chevy V8. That is a lot healthier -but maybe the city will soon be car-free. THEN we can talk about clean air.
    Enjoy the sunny days in California.
    All best wishes
    SkyFly – a considerate European smoker


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