Landlords in high dudgeon over provision of medical-marijuana law

Richard Vetstein reports landlords are smokin' mad because the law passed by voters this week lets people with medical conditions grow a two-month supply of weed at home if they can't get to one of those dispensaries the law allows. Homegrown pot could mean mold, water damage, fires from improperly wired grow lights and even an increased risk of burglaries from thieves looking for a quick hit. And then there are the feds:

Bay State landlords are also concerned about running afoul of federal drug laws as marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law. Landlords are begging Beacon Hill lawmakers to give them the right to refuse to rent to tenants who grow pot for medical use over fears their property could be seized. As reported in the Boston Herald, commercial and residential landlords are right to worry, drug forfeiture attorneys say, because landlords can be charged as conspirators if their tenants are targeted by the feds.



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Playing devils advocate here:

Playing devils advocate here: if these people have a medical condition that the law allows them to have "medicine" for, wouldnt refusal to rent to them be discrimination?

I'm no lawyer, but I think

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I'm no lawyer, but I think the fact that MMJ is still illegal at the Federal level, a discrimination case wouldn't hold in court.

Possibly, and that just makes the landlords' situation worse

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They could find themselves stuck between property seizure/forfeiture on one hand, and a long nasty lawsuit on the other.

I can see the quandry here, and I appreciate the landlords' concern. How has this played out in other states with medical mj?

I'm going to also mention that although I can sympathize with them, they won't be well served by absurd claims like the one found in that article that a 60-day supply of medical marijuana for an individual equates to "as many as 24 plants that are 6 feet tall". It's hard to imagine even a hard core stoner consuming almost two and half feet of vegetation per day.

You dont smoke the whole

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You dont smoke the whole plant. If you're completely oblivious about weed why are you taking part in a discussion about it?

Where will these be located?

A separate question is where to put the dispensaries.

Someone suggested near hospitals. Not sure why that makes any sense.

Anyone who voted in favor of this has to be willing to accept them in their own hometowns.

Why do I suspect they'll say no?

Small Scale Growing

I know old ladies who use similar systems to grow basil and hydroponic tomatoes and start garden plants and the like during the winter. Why would weed growing kits on this scale mean any worse an impact than any other plants?

This isn't like those Grow-Ops where weed growers will rent a house and absolutely fill the entire square footage with grow lights and plants!

Easy solution

Secede from America. Seriously, why is this state still trying? It's obvious that America is too stupid to have us as a member state. Can we just let this experiment die already?

Which state are you talking about?

Massachusetts or the dozen other states with this law already in place?

You can always leave, you know. Pakistan might take you ... or that other dream state of Somalia where there is truly minimal government and no immigration control.

Jesus Christ, Swirly

I'm on the side of legal weed. I voted "yes" on 3. My beef is with the feds potentially not respecting state's rights on this, followed by me asking why America should continue to govern us if they're going to be stupid about this.



Sorry, but, combined with your comment about Florida in another thread (just after it was declared for Obama ...) I got the wrong impression.

Somalia doesn't have much of a government to interfere with much of anything, though ...

I don't think

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100 year old prohibition is not a reason to secede our imperfect union. The idea is we're stronger because of our differences, and that fights to figure out what works. The drug war sucks, but slowly we're getting to a place where we should be.

Best of all it's a place that both Conservative/Libertarian and Progressives agree on. Hopefully, after dealing with the fiscal cliff, Obama realizes this, and that he has nothing else to ever campaign for, and get's it done. Conservatives aren't big on the ATF themselves. And while he'll never win over the NRA, I know many gun owners that simply laughed at the thought of Obama taking their guns, when the NRA endorsed the only candidate in the race to sign a assault weapons ban.

There's plenty on both sides of the isle in congress that would take up the cause. Get er done.

Supremacy Clause

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I am not a lawyer, but I don't understand how this new law can possibly stand up. Despite the yes vote on the question, won't the Supremes strike it down as a violation of the supremacy clause?

It does

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but it's limited in scope because of the Tenth Amendment. The FEDs need to literally marshal the resources and willpower to send in federal agents to enforce the law. Ultimately it'll be too costly, and too prohibitive politically to do so, which is why they rely on states to enact state criminal and civil laws, and for states to enforce the federal statures with state and local police.

As soon as states start to refuse to prosecute and cooperate, all bets are off. The laws in Washington become nay impossible to enforce effectively.

It's the same issue that came up with prohibition, and it's ultimate repeal. Everyone but the FED's was still in the liquor business illegally. Ultimately the mob got so bad, while lqior never went away, that they legalized and taxed it and got rid of their illegal revenue streams.

Sure the feds could send in the military to restore their sovereign power, but over something as ultimately benign as drug law, they won't do it. The nature, and sheer pervasiveness of drug in society make it impossible. Especially in this climate at least, where public sentiment is increasingly in favor of legalization.

When states wanted to keep segregation it was pretty easy to go down and crack some skulls, as they were state institutions directly connected to the policy. Drug users are already out there, and no as easily scull crackable for the feds or an army.

Lawyer/Legal Question

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What happens to those serving time for marijuana-related offenses when the laws change mid-sentence? If it makes it easier, let's say those convictions unmuddied by other circumstances - no weapons charges, assault, whatever else that could be in the mix. Say someone is doing time for possession, period.

I assume varying degrees of legality would mean varying degrees of newly-granted freedom and expunging of records? Colorado prisoners would be more likely to be on the streets sooner than MA?

Seriously. Legal people? Have an answer?