The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting smoking tobacco products in city parks. The amended section of the ordinace states that “No person shall smoke, light or otherwise use any tobacco product in any public park.” The ordinance included cigarettes, cigars, pipes or other lighted smoking equipment. Smokeless tobacco also is included in the ban.
Lake Stevens, Marysville, Sultan and Mill Creek have laws against smoking in parks. Eleven Snohomish County cities, including Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, have adopted tobacco-free parks proclamations.
The issue of including marijuana in the ban was raised by Councilmember Kerri Lonergan-Dreke, who noted that the ordinance did not address the use of marijuana.
Several of Lonergan-Dreke’s colleagues noted that the recent passage of Initiative 502, which legalized small amounts of marijuana for most adults, has resulted in some uncertainty at the state level.
Councilmember Mark Smith said that he supported a total ban on smoking in parks, including marijuana, but felt that it would be in the best interests of the city to pass the proposed ordinance as is and revisit the issue as soon as the city receives some clarity from the state.
Councilmember M. Christopher Boyer echoed Smith’s comments.
“Marijuana is covered by state law,” he said. “State law is in flux. We don’t know for sure what the state is going to do.”
Boyer added that he too supported Lonergan-Dreke’s aim.
Lonergan-Dreke urged the council not to let the issue of marijuana use in parks go by the wayside.
“If this is really about wanting what’s best for our community and our kids, then going easy on marijuana is not the right way in my opinion,” she said.