Pot luck as US states vote to grow cannabis

Some US states have legalised marijuana which is leaving campaigners happy but also a lot of police officers nervous – and property landlords even more so.

Colorado, Massachusetts and Washington are set for a confrontation with the Federal government since marijuana is still illegal under Federal law.

Advocates of the law say it will bring to an end the drug’s prohibition.

Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in America and the new law states that people can grow marijuana for their own medicinal use.  Essentially they will be allowed to grow enough for a 60 day supply in their own homes.

However, landlords say this situation will become a nightmare for them.

Landlords concerned

They believe they face the prospect of an increase in crime in the apartment buildings where tenants grow marijuana.

They also face the prospect of drug raids which means landlords could become embroiled in any subsequent legal action resulting in the confiscation of their property.

The new law takes effect from January 1, 2013, and already some landlords are looking to offset the effect of people growing medical marijuana by banning smoking in their buildings.

Skip Schloming, the executive director of the Massachusetts’ Small Property Owners Association, said: “There is the potential for a real disaster here.

“There could be as many as 24 plants which would be 6ft tall bringing all sorts of damage to the property from water damage to mould to wiring problems.”

Now landlords want the right to choose who lives in their properties but they are hampered by being unable to question someone about their disability.

Grass root support

And people growing marijuana will be doing so for medical reasons to comply with the law.

Skip added: “We want the right to choose who lives in our properties. We’re not trying to overthrow the law but we should be able to turn down a tenant for growing marijuana.

“Anti-discriminatory laws prevent landlords and property rental agencies from asking prospective tenants about any disabilities. The wording of the new law would mean anyone with a disability could grow the marijuana for their own use.”

As well as making their properties smoke-free, landlords are also looking at implementing clauses in their tenancy agreements which prevent people from specifically growing marijuana in their property.

Another concern is that their property will be targeted by criminals looking at stealing the marijuana plants or crop and in doing so creating expensive damage for them to repair.

The Massachusetts’ Small Property Owners Association is also among several other groups urging lawmakers to delay the law’s implementation so that the wording of the Bill can be made clearer and help protect them from Federal prosecution.