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This Bill Could Bar You From Smoking Marijuana In Your Own Apartment

Californians: you may want enjoy those cozy, smoke-wreathed Netflix nights on the couch while you can. With the Sunshine State poised for a November vote on legalizing recreational cannabis, a new bill could make it illegal for renters to smoke marijuana in their own homes.

"Secondhand smoke, regardless of whether it's smoke from tobacco or marijuana, is especially problematic in multiunit apartments and condos because the smoke easily travels the windows, doors and other ventilation systems," said Jim Wood, the state assemblyman who introduced the bill. "It's a nuisance that tenants should not have to live with."

The proposed bill is an extension of California's anti-tobacco laws, which let landlords and property managers "prohibit the smoking of tobacco products on the property, in a dwelling unit, in another interior or exterior area, or on the premises on which the dwelling unit is located."

If November's ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana gets passed, landlords could put similar provisions in their rental agreements barring marijuana use in or around the unit.

Landlords could ban marijuana, just like they can ban tobacco

Whether landlords should prohibit marijuana use completely, or allow it in certain forms, attorney Bret Sachter tells the rental site Zillow, it's "up to you and is a decision that should be made with an understanding of local marijuana laws."

"However, if you do choose to prohibit marijuana use to some degree, it is always best to make it clear in the lease, I have seen leases in Washington that prohibit smoking and specify that this prohibition applies equally to cigarettes, cigars, marijuana and all other types of smoke," writes Sachter.

You'd think switching to edibles or concentrates could forestall hassles with even the most confirmed anti-drug zealot landlord - because if you're not bothering any of your neighbours with smoke, who cares, right? Wrong, says Sachter.

"Marijuana is still illegal under federal law," he writes, "[landlords] can include a clause prohibiting conduct that is unlawful under state and federal law," and that includes marijuana in any form.

h/t The Sacramento Bee.


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