AZHOC - Arizona Homeowners Coalition
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Marijuana use in community

There are a number of units in my community some that are homeowners and some rentals that openly smoke marijuana. These residents claim they have medical marijuana cards and smoke their marijuana on their front porches. Arizona has not legalized marijuana for recreational use. Is this considered legal? I would think that the rental units have in their lease agreements no smoking/drug use/crime free addendums attached to those lease agreements. How do we as a community and the board address this behavior? There are children in the community. Our CC&R’s are from 1983 and don’t address this issue.

3 Responses

  1. Dennis Legere

    Carol;

    Obviously if the homeowners have legitimate medical marijuana cards, they have the legal right to use the product on their property. Ask them simply to verify that they have the license to use the product, and then ask them nicely to limit their use to certain times of the day that will not impact immediate neighbors.

    Under Property servitudes common law compiled in the Restatement of Law Third property servitudes section 6.7, the association has the rights as stated below:

    (2) If the declaration grants a general power to adopt rules, the common interest community also has the ability to adopt reasonable rules designed to protect community members from unreasonable interference in the enjoyment of their individual lots or units and the common property caused by use of other individually owned lots or units.

    What this says is that the association has the right to adopt rules even if they are not specifically authorized in the CC&R’s to prevent one home owner from doing things that impact other homeowners ability to enjoy their home or the common property. Those rules should be based on that direct impact and focus only on limiting the homeowners use of marijuana when the neighbor windows and doors are closed or when the adjacent homeowners are not on their patio’s or in the immediate vicinity of them. Or something to that affect. You cannot limit them from using the product that is medically necessary for their well being. You can only establish rules that prevent that use from negatively impacting their neighbors.

    Don’t try to play God here, or even judge these people because of their medical need. What you believe or how you stand on that product is irrelevant here, you have absolutely no right to impose your beliefs or will over anyone else. If you believe that the incidental intake of that product is a detriment to your health and welfare than you have the right to ask the association to take action to protect your health and the health of your family on this issue.

    Dennis

  2. Carol Payne

    Dennis,

    The problem isn’t so much with homeowners as it is with the rental units. Since we do have the power to adopt reasonable rules to address and protect the community, how do we get the tenants of the rentals to be respectful of the community? Do we issue violations to the homeowners? I’m assuming in their lease agreement there is a sub-section that deals with smoking whether it’s cigarettes or marijuana. Many landlords require their tenants to sign a crime free addendum. Nobody is trying to play God but some of the residents don’t like the fact that people are openly smoking marijuana on the premises and they feel uncomfortable. Where do we stand when it comes to rental units abusing their “medical need”? Thank you.

    1. Dennis Legere

      Carol;
      Your community documents would define the expectations of your association relative to requirement for owners that lease their units. Typically they require that the renters comply will all association rules and regulations. The homeowner is the person that the association will hold accountable for any violations of the community documents. It will then be up to the homeowner to decide what to do with the renter. As I mentioned earlier whether other homeowners like or dislike what other homeowners do that is legal is irrelevant. You have no right to impose your will on others. What you do have the right to do, is ask the association to adopt rules to limit the impact of these individuals on your ability to enjoy your property and the community common property with the potential health concerns from second hand smoke no matter what the source of that smoke. If the association choses not to act on this issue, unfortunately your only recourse is to remove the current board and elect a new board with a greater understanding of how this issue impacts you and other homeowners in the community.

      Dennis

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