California might legalize recreational marijuana in November, but renters could be left out of the cannabis revolution if their landlords don’t want them smoking weed.
Apartment dwellers in California would be banned from smoking medical marijuana or recreational pot inside their rental units if AB-2300, a bill from Assemblyman Jim Wood, becomes law, reports the Sacramento Bee.
“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. It’s a nuisance that tenants should not have to live with.”
AB-2300 is an extension of a 2011 law allowing landlords to prohibit renters from smoking tobacco in their units; the bill is backed by the California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors.
If the bill is approved by the California legislature, it would immediately become law, affecting medical marijuana patients across the golden state. It would also apply to recreational pot smokers if the state legalizes cannabis in November.
California state law already bans the smoking of medical marijuana anywhere tobacco use is prohibited, which includes most public places. However, AB-2300 would go one step further to stop pot use in private multi-unit dwellings.
The bill would not affect medical marijuana patients who use edibles, oils, lotions, pills, or tinctures, Woods told the Sacramento Bee.
“Qualified patients will still be able to obtain and use medical marijuana through all other non-smoking ways.”
Cannabis activists fear landlords who oppose cannabis legalization could use the bill to discriminate against marijuana users. Although legalizing recreational pot is gaining support in California and across the nation, there are still many who oppose the drug on moral grounds.
AB-2300 has already passed a committee and is now eligible to be considered on the Assembly floor. If it passes there, the Senate would still need to approve it before the governor could sign the bill into law.
Already, four states and the District of Columbia have approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, and 23 other states have eased restrictions on the drug.
Marijuana legalization is sweeping the nation, and the back alley business is quickly turning into a multi-billion-dollar industry complete with its own special interest groups paid to lobby state and national lawmakers.
If the green revolution continues at this pace, the national marijuana industry could be worth some $5.7 billion in four years, reports the USA Today. In California alone, the medical marijuana industry was valued at $2.7 billion last year.
Earlier this week, the marijuana activists who smoked weed in front of the White House met with Obama administration officials to discuss moving cannabis off the list of Schedule 1 drugs.
With cannabis listed among drugs like heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy, even states that have approved medical marijuana have difficulty studying its medicinal value. Neurologists are especially concerned about its possible use to stop epilepsy seizures.
The Drug Enforcement Agency approved the use of marijuana for the first time ever in a Colorado study that will research the benefits of cannabis for veterans with PTSD. Seventy-six veterans will begin scientific testing of the drug next month as part of the Colorado Health Department’s $2 million research effort.
Many states, including California, are expected to consider legalizing recreational marijuana use in November, but if AB-2300 becomes law golden state landlords will be able to restrict their tenants’ use of the drug.
What do you think? Should California landlords be able to prohibit their renters from smoking weed in their apartments?
[Photo by Damian Dovarganes/AP Images]