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Michigan bill allowing landlords to ban marijuana passes Senate

The bill that would allow Michigan landlords to refuse to let tenants grow or smoke medical marijuana cleared another hurdle on Mach 4 when it was approved by a 31-7 vote in the state Senate. Under the bill, landlords would be able to issue a written notice to tenants that smoking or growing medical marijuana was not allowed on the premises.

While medical marijuana is legal in the state of Michigan, landlords have been complaining about the damage that the building incurs from the smoke and grow lights that can get knocked over, as well as other tenants having to deal with the smell. In one case, tenants had cut holes in the walls of a house to create a greenhouse for the marijuana. Moisture got into the walls, and the house sustained significant damage. Another landlord said she had to replace the carpet, use an ozone machine in the unit for five days and clean the ducts to get rid of the smell after a renter who had been growing pot in the basement moved out.

While the law allows landlords to prohibit smoking cigarettes or having pets in residential lease agreements, banning medical marijuana has been a touchy issue, since landlords are not always allowed to ask about tenants' medical histories or diagnoses. Opponents of the bill argue that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was supposed to protect those prescribed the substance at work, at home and while driving and claim that allowing landlords to evict tenants for using marijuana in accordance to the law violates that premise.

While the bill is now on its way to the House and has a bit to go before it would be made into law if approved, it is clear that there needs to be some way for landlords to protect their investment properties from the types of damage that can be done from growing or smoking medical marijuana in the units.

Source: mlive, "Michigan Senate moves to let landlords ban growing, smoking medical marijuana" Jonathan Oosting, Mar. 04, 2014

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