Landlord Gets Jump on Marijuana Debate

A Seattle area landlord is taking the bull by the horns when it comes to the state’s new recreational marijuana law.

According to a news report, the landlord has sent notices to tenants in 171 apartments, warning them that having pot in the apartments will lead to eviction.

Tenants are also asked to sign a lease addendum promising to comply with the new rules.

The landlord later softened that stance after talking with a tenant who uses a liquid form of medical marijuana, saying that the prohibition was meant to prohibit smoking of any substance. An attorney has come forward and volunteer his assistance in representing the rights of the tenant using medical marijuana, according to the report.

The landlord has acknowledged that the a mid-lease addendum would have to be voluntary, but will require it for all new leases or renewals.

According to the report, Washington state law does allow landlords to ban smoking in rental properties, with no exception currently made for marijuana. It is unclear, however, how courts will reconcile a ban on pot smoking in light of the state’s new law allowing recreational use of marijuana,  as well as a current federal mandate that allows the government to seize rental properties in some cases where landlords have condoned the use or sale of marijuana.

State lawmakers are slated to tackle the new marijuana regulations soon, so the controversy over marijuana use in the state — and in rental properties —  is only beginning.

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