Medical marijuana

34 Replies

With the HIPPA  Laws being in place how do you know your tenant is using medical marijuana or the marijuana they bought on the corner from a dealer and is it legal to ask in some states?

Legal marijuana is coming, and fast. Get used to the idea that your tenants may be using it. It will be pretty soon that it's federally legal so if you're against it, you need to find a way to cope. 

As for legality of asking what their source is, I don't know. I'm sure there will be protections in place for prescribed marijuana usage as well, until then, check your local laws but I would assume if they aren't allowed to smoke per the lease, they are in violation regardless of prescription. 

regarding marijuana usage I say "who cares?". They don't even drug test at the banks anymore LOL 

If you have "No Smoking" in your lease, that should include marijuana as well.  Just because marijuana may soon be legal across the country does not mean landlords have to accept its use in their properties.  Cigarettes are legal, and it is legal for landlords to bar the use of cigarettes in their properties.

I would assume that if a tenant has a prescription for medical marijuana the landlord must accept the use of marijuana, just as a landlord must accept a medical use pet.  But there are (or should be) caveats.  

1) In this day and time, it is not necessary to smoke a joint to enjoy the medical benefits of the drug.  There are pills, edibles, and liquids available. 

2) For non-smoking properties, I would require the tenant provide a copy of the prescription to me so I can verify it.  I would then read the document to see if the doctor included text that specified that only smoking the drug would achieve the desired result.  If not, I think it reasonable to request the tenant imbibe marijuana in a manner other than smoking.

Good luck, @David Shives

I agree with @Randy E. and @Alexander Felice .  Who cares?  Medical marijuana, recreational marijuana and street marijuana all leave behind a nasty odor when burned that gets into carpets and drapes and smoking can leave a film behind on walls and other hard surfaces.

it doesn't matter what the source is.  What matters is that they don't smoke it inside a unit where there is a No Smoking clause in the lease. 

The only major issue is that it is still federally illegal.  While the feds have pretty much said that they won't be bothering folks in Colorado or Washington, there is always **some** small amount of risk that a SWAT team will kick in your door to arrest somebody eating a brownie on the couch.  For that reason, I point out to tenants that they are responsible for damage caused to the property, regardless if they did it, their visitor did it or the SWAT team does it.

Originally posted by @Linda Weygant :

I agree with @Randy E. and @Alexander Felice .  Who cares?  Medical marijuana, recreational marijuana and street marijuana all leave behind a nasty odor when burned that gets into carpets and drapes and smoking can leave a film behind on walls and other hard surfaces.

it doesn't matter what the source is.  What matters is that they don't smoke it inside a unit where there is a No Smoking clause in the lease. 

The only major issue is that it is still federally illegal.  While the feds have pretty much said that they won't be bothering folks in Colorado or Washington, there is always **some** small amount of risk that a SWAT team will kick in your door to arrest somebody eating a brownie on the couch.  For that reason, I point out to tenants that they are responsible for damage caused to the property, regardless if they did it, their visitor did it or the SWAT team does it.

 I love this post!  My thoughts exactly.  As far as I know, a landlord can still say no to marijuana uses, whether it's medicinal or not - because it violates federal law.  

I pondered whether or not a "reasonable accommodation" could ever come into play, that they need their MJ for their disability.  But, I don't think allowing smoking in your units would ever be required as a "reasonable" accommodation, as smoke causes damage and can affect your ability to rent it afterwards.  You might have to allow them in, but with an agreement not to smoke.

Another problem with MJ users, is that they will often want to grow their own, which is part of what's often allowed - so many plants, etc.  And growing the plants can cause other damage - water, humidity, etc.

So now, you would have to figure out how to also disallow them from growing plants... An MJ addendum?  

It will be interesting to see how it all works out down the line.

Originally posted by @David Shives :

With the HIPPA  Laws being in place how do you know your tenant is using medical marijuana or the marijuana they bought on the corner from a dealer and is it legal to ask in some states?

Ask to try some , if its the good stuff it came from a dealer ,If its not , its medical . And dont forget the Doritos 

If you see a little orange pill container with a white cap in their kitchen would you have a right to verify that it was property prescribed by a doctor?

I don't think being their landlord give us the right to access medical records.

Originally posted by @Max Tanenbaum :

If you see a little orange pill container with a white cap in their kitchen would you have a right to verify that it was property prescribed by a doctor?

I don't think being their landlord give us the right to access medical records.

 If you can't see the difference between how taking a pill and smoking in a property when there is a non-smoking clause in the lease, I can't help you.

Speaking of marijuana does anyone know how to access the webinar or have the access code #?

If you see a little orange pill container with a white cap in their kitchen would you have a right to verify that it was property prescribed by a doctor?

I don't think being their landlord give us the right to access medical records.

@Randy E. I don't recall seeing the originator of the thread mention anything about a no smoking Claude in his lease.

@David Shives

You may want to have a quick chat with a lawyer. In some states (don't ask me which ones of the top of my head) it's my non-expert understanding that "no smoking" clauses are not legal/enforceable. 

I found you an article that reinforces the vibe of this thread:

http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2014/05/what...

HIPAA laws are strict, but as long as marijuana remains a federally classified schedule 1, you still have the ability to enforce your well-documented rules in your rental units.

Originally posted by @Max Tanenbaum :

Randy E. I don't recall seeing the originator of the thread mention anything about a no smoking Claude in his lease.

 You're right, Max.  If the OP doesn't have a non-smoking clause in his contract, his case gets a little weaker.  

On the other hand, if the OP is using a standard off-the-shelf lease, it may include clauses that allow for eviction for illegal activity.  Seeing how marijuana is illegal in the vast majority of the United States, the OP would still have grounds to evict in most cases.

If the OP has no lease, his case just went up in smoke.

Until it becomes legal on the federal level, it should still be grounds for eviction no matter where it comes from. I say "should" because there's always the chance the judge is a recreational pot smoker or just sympathetic to their cause. 

Pretty much everything in life has three sets of laws that have to be adhered to. There are Federal Laws, there are State Laws, and there are Town Ordinances. (Yes, we DO live in a Police State.) Generally, they are applied in that order, Federal trumps State trumps Town. Since Federal is up top, it should be able to be used for eviction. It would be interesting to know if this has been done yet. I'm going to dig into that when I get a minute.

I do know that police (Town Level) are using medical marijuana as grounds to deny gun licenses citing the the Federal Law that states that if you use illegal drugs you are "restricted" from getting a gun license. Even though the person "legally" has a Rx on the State level, they get denied by the Town due to Federal law saying marijuana is illegal. Like I said above, Federal trumps State. The Town knows it and uses it. I would expect the same in eviction court. 

Massachusetts was considering a bill (I don't know if it passed) that would ban smoking cigarettes in apartment buildings because the smell can travel through the air ducts to other apartments. I don't see that happening unless they all share one hot air furnace, but I'm just a contractor, not a politician, what do I know?

This post has been removed.

@Richard C. Why are you on Bigger Pockets? Most of us are here to get ideas from other people that have gone thorough similar situations. The only "legal advice" I've seen in this thread is for the OP to talk to a lawyer. Your post has nothing to do with the conversation going on here, so why post it at all? 

Did a search for "can police seize rental property" Found this on another site. just something to consider.

Skaleen

03-25-2002, 10:14 AM

Yes! If your tenants are commit drug related crimes or are suspected to have committed drug related crimes and the cops bust them, they can and often do seize the house, cars and property within. It is VERY difficult to reclaim your property even if they were renting the house and you had nothing to do with it. Sometimes you can't even get it back if the parties involved were found to be innocent of all charges- especially if the police auction occurs between the time your property is seized and the charges are dropped.
Often times it's impossible to get your property back- especially if it's something valuable like a nice car or an airplane because of the roadblocks thrown up by complicated paperwork.

Drug busts are huge money-makers for police departments because they get to keep or sell everything they seize including but not limited to any cash laying around, weapons (even legal ones!), bicycles, computers, the house itself... A lot of laws allowing seizure are appalling in the power they give officers and departments and by and large are ignored because people/ judges appear to have the opinion that "if you're dumb enough to lend your car/house/airplane to a drug user you deserve what you get" or "if you're mistaken for a drug dealer there's probably something fishy going on because innocent people don't just get mistaken like that".

Not all police departments will take advantage of a person, but some do and it's those few that tarnish the reputation of cops in general.

@Kevin Smith

The post you quoted was from 2002 and a lot has changed since then.  The topic is regarding Medical Marijuana and a quick search of Ohio shows less than 7oz is a misdemeanor.  For those of yall not familiar....7oz is A LOT

Try to evict a paying tenant for marijuana just is not good business in my opinion.  The cost could be in the thousands in eviction costs, lost rent and make ready IF you were successful.

Originally posted by @Greg H. :

@Kevin Smith

The post you quoted was from 2002 and a lot has changed since then.  The topic is regarding Medical Marijuana and a quick search of Ohio shows less than 7oz is a misdemeanor.  For those of yall not familiar....7oz is A LOT

Try to evict a paying tenant for marijuana just is not good business in my opinion.  The cost could be in the thousands in eviction costs, lost rent and make ready IF you were successful.

I understand that it was an old post but I also know that the Government and Police are still seizing property. I was just trying to let people know that if you are ignoring illegal activity in your property it could come back to bite you.  The one thing you can be sure of, is you can never be sure of what the government will do.

Do any of you get medical advice from strangers on the internet?  If not, why legal advice?

@Kevin Smith

LOL...  If that was the case,  the government would own Austin TX and the entire state of Colorado and Washington

Originally posted by @Richard C. :

Do any of you get medical advice from strangers on the internet?  If not, why legal advice?

 Do you never go to a cocktail party and ask people who might have some knowledge their opinion on a topic?  Everything from "does this look like a rash to you?" to "I really need some help training my dog" to "wow, I wish I knew how to cook the perfect burger".

Nobody is suggesting that anything on Bigger Pockets is legal advice.  It's just people throwing out opinions and sharing stories based on being in the same or a similar situations.

Sheesh.  Perhaps you need to smoke a joint (since this is marijuana post).

Originally posted by @Linda Weygant :
Originally posted by @Richard C.:

Do any of you get medical advice from strangers on the internet?  If not, why legal advice?

 Do you never go to a cocktail party and ask people who might have some knowledge their opinion on a topic?  Everything from "does this look like a rash to you?" to "I really need some help training my dog" to "wow, I wish I knew how to cook the perfect burger".

Nobody is suggesting that anything on Bigger Pockets is legal advice.  It's just people throwing out opinions and sharing stories based on being in the same or a similar situations.

Sheesh.  Perhaps you need to smoke a joint (since this is marijuana post).

 Your first post contained two opinions that would get someone acting in reliance on them in some real hot water in a number of states.

Originally posted by @Richard C. :
Originally posted by @Linda Weygant:
Originally posted by @Richard C.:

Do any of you get medical advice from strangers on the internet?  If not, why legal advice?

 Do you never go to a cocktail party and ask people who might have some knowledge their opinion on a topic?  Everything from "does this look like a rash to you?" to "I really need some help training my dog" to "wow, I wish I knew how to cook the perfect burger".

Nobody is suggesting that anything on Bigger Pockets is legal advice.  It's just people throwing out opinions and sharing stories based on being in the same or a similar situations.

Sheesh.  Perhaps you need to smoke a joint (since this is marijuana post).

 Your first post contained two opinions that would get someone acting in reliance on them in some real hot water in a number of states.

Oh FFS, freaking pedantic %$*

Here....

I live in Colorado and the laws here may be different than the laws in your state.  The opinions expressed herein are my own and are not considered to be legal advice.  Please consult a lawyer in your own state who is fully cognizant of all laws in your area.  Do not fold, spindle or mutilate.  Do not cross go, do not collect $200.  My opinions are my own and probably will not hold up in a court of law.  Except for the parts that will.

Seriously, if you're going to insist that we all include these statements on every post, BP is going to get even more clogged than it already is.

Additionally, BP is a forum, and encourages discourse.  If you believe I have stated anything inaccurate, then your job is to point it out and give your dissenting opinion at which point we may then discuss the differences and nuances involved in our opinions.  It is not for you to throw around pithy comments with no additional thought or conversation that adds nothing of value other than to stir the ire of those who spend a considerable amount of time and effort to try to give input into people's situations.

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