Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Legal Pot, Anti-Pot Landlord, Property Rights, Tenants’ Privacy…

Talk about a tangled web.  Possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal in Washington as a result of last November’s ballot initiative.  Medical marijuana was already legal.  And of course both of these state laws are trumped by the federal government.

And the plot thickens. Abode Management has sent a letter to all 171 of its Mercer Island (WA) tenants.  Possession of marijuana — in any form, any amount — would be grounds for eviction.  In addition, all tenants are hereby required to report any other tenants whom they suspect might be using marijuana.  And all tenants were required to sign an amendment to their current leases stating that they understood the new rule and would comply with it.

After some protests, Abode Management walked back some of their earlier statements:  Tenants would not be required to sign the new amended lease until their current lease had expired.

One of the tenants — Alex Aversano — is an Iraqi war veteran who uses medical marijuana for PTSD and chronic pain.  (I wonder how many Abode Management executives have served in Iraq.)  He uses a marijuana tincture; no smoking is involved.

Abode Management prohibits ALL smoking on its property — pot, tobacco, you name it.  As far as liquid or edible pot is concerned, an Abode Management spokeswoman “left the matter of liquid or edible marijuana cloudy” (from the linked article).

Doug Hiatt, a criminal defense lawyer and medical marijuana advocate, said he didn’t think landlords could ban edible/liquid marijuana from their premises:

“What would they do, search everybody's chocolate-chip cookies? It's reefer madness all over.”

Then again, landlords — depending on what level of douchebaggery they want to stoop to — can always fall back on federal anti-marijuana laws.  Nobody has done this yet, but Washington’s largest association of landlords has reminded all of their property managers that they have the option of squealing to the feds if any pothead tenants start getting uppity.

Landlords’ property rights, strict federal laws against pot, a person’s right to partake in a legal drug in their own home — the whole thing will just get more tangled before it gets resolved.

On the upside, Doug Hiatt speculated that some landlords might start renting and advertising pot-friendly apartment buildings:

“This is America. If there's a way to make money, I think they'll do it.”

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Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Most renters don't want to live in a place where anything goes and the landlord could care less if renter A's hardy partying frequently makes a good night's sleep impossible for renters B,C,D and maybe a few others. Abode Management is at the other end of the spectrum, with an almost Nazi-like heavyhandedness.

I suspect many people who have no personal desire to indulge in pot will find it easy to pass Abode's properties by. If the company is that authoritarian and strict about pot, even as a medicine, what might it come up with next?

The legal situation is iffy in ways people aren't used to. In virtually everything else something is legal or not. For that reason I expect the uncertainly to be resolved one way or another by the end of the decade. If we're smart, the federal government will cut its losses and get past the "Reefer Madness" hysteria-inspired prohibition that has done so much harm to so many for so long, and precious little good for anyone or anything.

January 13, 2013 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Interesting you should bring this up. I worked for a local public housing agency a short while ago and they permitted the use of medical pot as long as the user smoked it away from the building. They receive federal funds and there doesn't seem to be a problem. They did however just recently ban the use of tobacco inside the buildings.

I think it's not so much about pot, alcohol or some other drug but the behavior that can go along with it. And as we all know you can't regulate morality or behavior even though people try.

January 14, 2013 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Potheads cause way fewer problems than drunks.

January 14, 2013 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Like most people, I've had my share of neighbors who are noisy, or park up the entire street with their fleet of old beat-up cars, or have dogs that bark all day and night, etc. But whenever I think about living under one of those Nazi homeowner associations (or an anal apartment landlord), I decide that the annoying neighbors are the lesser of 2 evils.

Demeur: There's a huge Section 8 apartment building just down the street from us. I don't know if smoking is banned inside the building, but they evicted one of their tenants for smoking outside but being within 25 feet of a building.

Randal: At least alcohol doesn't lead to heroin or cause hair to grow on your palms, like pot does.

January 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Jebon Alan said...

As a tenant, there are certain rights you should be aware of to protect yourself.
California renters rights give you protection against landlords who wish to abuse the system.
Unfortunately, many tenants do not take the time to understand their rights and get taken advantage of.
The following explores some of the most important and most relevant rights tenants have in California.
This is only a small listing of information that can be found at our site to protect yourself.
Renters rights in Los Angeles are largely the same as in other California cities,
so this information is relevant regardless of where you live. First of all,
a landlord can never discriminate against a tenant. A landlord cannot refuse a room to or harass a tenant based on race,
color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, immigration status, religion, national origin,
disability, or if they are pregnant or have children. Landlords must also allow all service animals,
regardless of pet policies within the building. Your landlord also cannot try to retaliate against you if you take action against his unlawful actions. For example,
if you file a claim with an agency about your landlord, he cannot legally raise your rent, evict you,
or stop providing services because of it.
if you need more informacon check renters rights

December 16, 2013 at 8:18 AM  

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