Are landlords responsible for pot-growing renters?

It’s still not legal under federal law

While 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal pot use, along with four states legalizing recreational use, the federal government still says marijuana is illegal.

At the National Association of Realtors Conference & Expo, NAR Senior Policy Representative Megan Booth said during the “Medical Marijuana and R.E.” session “State marijuana laws haven’t been challenged at the Supreme Court yet,” Booth said. “That’s why they stand.”

Currently, federal law gives the government the right to seize finances and properties that are connected to illegal activity, including drugs. And as a result, Booth explained that landlords who let tenants grow weed in their apartments or smoke it on site for any purpose run the risk of having their real estate property taken from them.

While the chances of this happening are slim, it does not mean it is out of the question.

Still, pressure is being applied to the federal government to act in accordance with federal law. “The U.S. has signed on to global treaties classifying marijuana as one of the heaviest controlled substances,” Booth said. “So there’s some outrage that the U.S. isn’t prosecuting marijuana users here as fiercely.” That pressure should signify to landlords and property managers that risk is present when accepting marijuana use on their properties.

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