You’re probably well aware that smoking marijuana in public is already illegal. But did you also know that Laguna Beach has now expanded its ban on all public smoking? That’s right, this past May, the City Council voted unanimously to expand the ban to now cover beaches and parks. The ordinance also extends throughout the city to include sidewalks, bikeways, alleys, parking structures, and more.
This ban applies to cigarettes, marijuana, vapes, and e-cigarettes, and comes with a $100 fine for a first offense, and up to a $500 fine for a third.
How This Ordinance Came To Be
It’s no surprise that public smoking is becoming increasingly restricted and this next step only makes sense. What was once an openly free and legal prerogative to smoke in malls, restaurants, and airplanes (yes, even airplanes!), the times have changed. First and second-hand smoke is linked to cancer, asthma, and a list of other ailments. So with these findings, it is not a stretch of the imagination to limit public usage.
But in addition to the health findings, there are other considerations that came to play regarding this new ban, too. Laguna Beach is a beautiful and idyllic location that many find obstructed due to cigarette butt litter. It’s also proven to be bad for the ocean and beach environment include wildlife and plant life.
All of these factors combined with the host of resident complaints is what lead to this unanimous vote.
What Kind of Hurdles Can One Expect?
This new ban is not without complications. It will very directly affect Laguna Beach’s tourism. Many come from far and wide to enjoy this beach town and a lot of tourists vacation in from Europe where public smoking is far more commonplace.
Another issue will be presented in the form of marijuana vacationers. Now that California legally allows recreational cannabis use, many flock to the state to imbibe. But with such heavy restrictions on where one can smoke, it really puts the vacationer between a rock and a hard place as they likely do not have a residential location to freely smoke.
What This Means for You
While this ban may be annoying to a marijuana user, it’s not a gamestopper. Here’s what you can do to still enjoy marijuana in Laguna Beach.
- Opt for edibles. You don’t have to smoke to have a good time. Try your hand at edibles to still experience all that marijuana has to offer, minus the toxic smoke and public shaming.
- Smoke in a private residence. While more limited, it’s still available. If you’re a Laguna Beach local, check with your landlord, HOA, etc. to see the specifics determining indoor smoking. If you’re a visitor, look for 420-friendly lodging. Try airbnb, VRBO, and Kush Tourism for listings allowing cannabis smoking.
- Keep an eye out for cannabis social clubs. Also known as Teapad, this is a location where members can come to enjoy smoking marijuana. Products are not available at these locations, but hang out areas are. Currently not present in California but is in Colorado (so it’s a trend worth watching).