A new Michigan bill would amend the state medical marijuana law to prohibit renters from growing -- or even smoking -- medical pot on private property if the owner forbids it. Senators Rick Jones and James Marleau introduced the Republican-sponsored proposal, Senate Bill 783, last week. The bill would also ban smoking medical cannabis in any section of private property that is open to the public.

Senator Jones, an ex-Eaton County sheriff, attempted to justify the proposed law by claiming, “When you grow marijuana, it puts moisture in the walls, and it sometimes destroys the property.” Jones went on to express concern over grow lights tipping over and causing fires.

Attorney Matt Able, leader of the Detroit-based Cannabis Counsel, denounced the bill as “hostile” and “unnecessary,” stating: “It would end up so some people couldn’t even use it in their own residence. People who … rent would be subject to the predilection of their landlords. It’s discriminatory.”

However, Tim Beck, one of the leaders of the campaign that legalized medical pot in Michigan, voiced his support for the bill and opined that patients who rent could vaporize and/or consume edibles. Beck owns several rental properties in the Detroit area.

There are currently over 115,000 registered medical cannabis patients in Michigan. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, passed by voters in 2008, allows patients to grow up to 12 plants for personal use.