Michigan Considers Law Limiting Medical Marijuana on Private Property

| by Allison Geller

A proposal being debated by the Michigan state legislature would restrict the use and cultivation of medical marijuana on private property to landlords' discretions.

Senate Bill 783, sponsored by Sens. Rick Jones and James Marleau, Republicans, would let property owners decide to allow or prohibit the plant, MLive reports.

"When you grow marijuana, it puts moisture in the walls, and it sometimes destroys the property," said Jones, a former sheriff. "We've had lights tip over and cause fires, endangering other residents. And obviously, if the smoke is traveling throughout the apartments, it can bother other residents."

Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, passed in 2008, patients can grow up to 12 plants for their own use and caregivers can cultivate the drug for up to five patients.

Under the new bill, which was debated at a public hearing yesterday, those rights could be denied at a landlord’s say-so.

Matt Able, an attorney who heads the Detroit-based Cannabis Counsel, said the proposed measure is "unnecessary” and discriminates against renters.

"It would end up so some people couldn't even use it in their own residence," he said. "People who can afford their own home don't have to worry about it but people who are less fortunate and rent would be subject to the predilection of their landlords. It's discriminatory."

Earlier this month, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled unanimously that local officials can’t ban medical marijuana, overturning local ordinances in several towns.

Sources: MLive, Detroit Free Press