Just six months after claiming his family doesn’t smoke pot “inside” the mayor’s mansion, Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is going after residents who smoke tobacco in their own homes.
“The Health Department is encouraging efforts for voluntary smoke-free housing initiatives,” the mayor’s office told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a prepared statement. “Everyone benefits from smoke-free housing – residents enjoy breathing cleaner, healthier air in their homes and in common areas, while owners see reductions in property damage and turnover costs.”
Though tobacco is a legal substance, as opposed to marijuana, the mayor has sought to stop its use in as many areas around the city as possible. The latest plan is to get landlords and developers to voluntarily ban smoking in their resident buildings. The administration will select four advocacy groups who will be in charge of persuading property owners to put the bans on their residents. Each group will get paid $9,000.
The plans to make the city more healthy and smoke free comes just six months after de Blasio was accused and admitted to smoking marijuana. When asked in January by TheDC, the mayor denied that his wife Chirlane McCray or himself have ever smoked the illegal drug inside Gracie Mansion, a taxpayer funded home for the mayor. He did admit, however, to smoking pot back in his college years.
“No,” the mayor said to laughter. “I haven’t smoked marijuana since I was at NYU.”
Blasio, however, did not elaborate on the last time his wife smoked marijuana. The denial has been met with skepticism with some in media seeking to find people who have smoked with the mayor in recent years and others asking for him to resign. The revelation has even been used by opponents in his ongoing dispute with law enforcement.
Former NYPD detective Bo Dietl notes it may be true the couple didn’t smoke “inside” the mansion.
“What about in the backyard when [he] built the wall higher?” Dietl told TheDC at the time. “A little birdie tweeted in my ear—someone from law enforcement told me that his wife is smoking pot. It’s not the end of the world.”
“My belief is people who smoke pot become very lazy and they’re very not on time,” Dietl continued. “They have a very laid back attitude and maybe that’s why he’s late a lot. I’m just trying to figure out why he’s late all the time. People have to wait for him all the time.”
The mayor’s office declined to comment on de Blasio’s use of the drug. Whether he has smoked pot since college or not, the mayor seems destined to stop others from smoking tobacco. The plan to stop smoking at private residents is just the latest in a long health crusade starting with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. As the New York affiliate of NBC News reports, between the two mayors the city has banned smoking at bars, restaurants and even on city streets and other public locations.
With difficulty passing his bans through law, de Blasio has found legal workarounds to advance his agenda.
“Ladies and gentlemen it is with that definition I am banning cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking on city streets in all five boroughs,” de Blasio said at a press conference in October according Empire News. “Second hand smoke is litter, make no mistake. If I could declare cigarettes illegal I would but I can take steps to make sure no one on city streets has to see or breathe in their poisonous fumes.”
The mayor’s office did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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