Congratulations, Santa Monicans! You are officially a member of a city, largely thought to be one of the last bastions of free love and socialist living, that has decided to dictate whether you can use a legal substance in the privacy of your own home! Wow. Fun. Not only that, the city will now have landlords survey tenants to find out who’s being naughty or nice. Those surveys will be logged with the city. Ah, freedom. You smell slightly of cigarettes and desperation.

What the heck, City Council? What is wrong with you? You authorize the construction of ticky-tacky apartment buildings up and down our narrow streets (26th Street and Broadway, I have no words for how ugly that building is), but decide, hey, yeah, let’s put smokers of a legal substance on a “list.” Maybe next you could make all smokers wear a cute little badge so the rest of us know who they are and what they do.

Tobacco is a legal substance. If someone is living next to a person who smokes two or three or four packs a day (and who does that anymore at $5 a pack?), then, OK, there may be a problem, a problem resolved by means other than punishing every smoker in the city. Further, to legislate against smokers who live in apartments or multi-family dwellings, but not against single-family home dwellers, is discriminatory.

I am ashamed, Santa Monica, that I live in this city that used to be so fair and fun, full of moderate, caring citizens, and a City Council that had some semblance of sanity.

I am not a smoker. I don’t care if my neighbor smokes. I invested in a $60 air purifier because of my allergies (I do so love the Santa Ana winds) and would gladly buy one for each room of my home before I would deign to tell my neighbor that he/she no longer has the right to privacy in their home and to consume a legal substance. In that case, can I dictate whether someone drinks in their home when they sometimes get into a fight with their spouse, starts breaking things, and yells at the refrigerator? How about the person who starts and runs his/her car outside my window, exhaust wafting in like the scent of night-blooming jasmine? Or the guy who uses a little too much cologne and passes by my bedroom window, causing me to sneeze for 15 minutes? Alcohol, cigarettes, cars and cologne, all legal substances, all occasionally annoying and none of which I should be able to legislate to my own benefit.

This has gone too far. Santa Monica City Council, you should be ashamed. If any smokers out there want to sue the city, I would support you!

By the way, the mural on Broadway at about 17th Street near a pre-school, who approved that piece of artistic vomit? Sure, approve that, but dictate what we citizens do in our own homes. Sheesh, you are an embarrassment.


Stacy Westly

Santa Monica

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