Smoking marijuana may soon lead to an epidemic of homeless stoners across Colorado.
Although the state has now officially deemed it legal for people to get high inside their personal dwellings, many property owners say they are fully prepared to issue eviction notices to renters found to be using marijuana if it’s a violation of their lease agreement.
Property owner Terry Powell recently told ABC News that if any of his renters expect to maintain a roof over their head, they had better think twice about smoking pot inside his rented homes. While he admits that he’s uncertain as to exactly what kind of rights Colorado’s new marijuana laws gives him as a landlord, he is ready to take action. "Can I keep them from growing it?" he said. "If I find it, can I destroy it? Can I evict them immediately?"
Legal experts say that property owners may not have outright authority in regards to evicting marijuana users. They say the only recourse for ridding their properties of potheads is to ensure all lease agreements have a clause prohibiting marijuana use.
"That begs the practical question, how are you going to know if anybody's violating that prohibition in the lease? That would be pretty tough as a practical matter," said former judge Jim Miller. "While you can prohibit the use of marijuana, there are probably some practical limitations in discovering."
Miller says that most renters residing in Colorado’s high society are probably safe from eviction, at least until the landlord requests they sign an updated lease. He also says that while current rental agreements typically include a non-smoking clause, very few are specific to marijuana use. He also adds that any mention of marijuana in a lease is generally contained under a section prohibiting “illegal activity.” And since marijuana is no longer against the law, it cannot legally become a problem.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.