COACH's Pop Quiz!
Q: If your state has passed a medical marijuana law, then you must allow residents to use medical marijuana on your property. True or false?
A: False. In general, state medical marijuana laws protect medical marijuana users from arrest or prosecution for possession of illegal drugs under state criminal laws. But it’s still illegal under federal law to possess or grow marijuana, and so far, only a handful of states have addressed whether rental property owners may regulate its use on their property.
Despite fair housing rules requiring housing providers to grant requests for reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, HUD has taken the position that a request to allow medical marijuana use is unreasonable, at least with respect to federal public or assisted housing. That would suggest that the agency is unlikely to pursue a federal fair housing claim in medical marijuana cases, but it wouldn’t foreclose the possibility of a claim under state law.
At last count, 20 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted measures allowing marijuana to be made available for a variety of medical conditions. Find out about whether there has been any formal guidance from fair housing officials in your state on whether banning or limiting use of medical marijuana in your community could lead to a discrimination claim. And see the Coach’s November lesson, “Addressing Medical Marijuana Use at Your Community,” for six tips to help you address medical marijuana use at your community.