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If They Legalize It Do I Have To Allow It?

Social norms regarding the use of marijuana are rapidly changing.  Legalization would have been considered impossible just a few years ago, but it is now occurring to varying degrees all over the country.  To us landlords it brings up an interesting question; if pot is legalized do we have to allow people to use it in our properties?

The answer to that is no.

There are lots of things that are legal to do and or own that we do not have to allow, such as tobacco, pets even waterbeds.  Marijuana, if legalized, would fall into this same type category.

Why is that?

For one thing marijuana is still illegal on the federal level.  Until that gets resolved there are still legal implications.

Secondly, our property is just that, our property.  It is private and we can regulate, within certain limits, what we as private property owners will allow on our properties.

Thirdly, marijuana users are not a protected class.  Nor are tobacco smokers or users of alcohol.  Many a landlord, including yours truly, has banned tobacco use in our properties and we could ban alcohol use as well if we wanted to.

Remember, you as a landlord are not allowed to discriminate against who you allow to live in your properties based upon the seven federally protected classes.  Those classes are age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin and familial status.  But you can and are even encouraged to discriminate in other ways.  Everything else, such as marijuana smokers, tobacco users, motorcycle owners, truck drivers, lawyers and deadbeats is fair game.  You just have to be consistent in your application of those discriminating standards.  Meaning if you discriminate and say no once, you better say no all the time, every time.

But who knows.  As laws and norms continue to change, it may be advantageous and profitable to some landlords to allow marijuana use on their properties.  For other landlords, it will be not so much.  That however is the beauty of the free enterprise system.   There will likely be something for everyone, tokers and non-tokers alike.

One Response to “If They Legalize It Do I Have To Allow It?”
  1. If it’s legal, and they have a prescription, you have to allow it. but you do not have to allow smoking inside, legal pot or cigs.

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