New bill allows landlords to ban marijuana smoking inside rentals

Credit: MGN / file

Bakersfield resident Cindy Skipper lives in a rented condo near Wilson Road and Wible Road. Her condo is one of many closely knit units in a giant condominium complex. Smells and sounds are easy to detect among such close quarters.

"I had a neighbor smoking marijuana, and I thought I had a skunk in my garage," said Skipper.

Under a new proposed bill by Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, landlords would have the authority to prohibit tenants from smoking medical marijuana in a rented residence, including apartments, a condo or a house.

"Neighbors living in multi-family housing can be exposed to toxic or second-hand smoke," said Wood. "It's a nuisance that tenants should not have to live with."

The bill would extend a 2011 law that allows landlords to prohibit tenants from smoking tobacco indoors. "I think it's a good bill," said Frank St. Clair, who runs St. Clair Investment Properties in Bakersfield. "The landlords who wish to enforce it will be protected by the law and have the ability to do that without repercussions."

The proposed bill applies specifically to the smoking of cannabis. Patients would maintain their right to access and use medical marijuana through other consumption methods such as edibles or oils. "I guess that could be solution for some, but not for all," said a medical marijuana patient who gave his name only as Zack. "The edibles probably won't help everybody, the oils won't help everybody and as far as I know a lot of people don't seven like doing that stuff."

The bill, AB2300 passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee unanimously on a 10-0 vote on Thursday. It continues to make its' way through the state legislature.

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