homeowners association marijuana
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Marijuana Consumers Should Avoid Homeowners Associations

homeowners association marijuanaIt has been my dream since I was a little kid to own my own home. I grew up living in apartments and relative’s houses, and always dreamed of one day living in my own home where no one could tell me what to do. At the time my main goal was to build a tree house and have a tire swing. Now that I’m older, I still have the dream of home ownership, but now my goal is to have a stellar marijuana garden.

If you aspire to own a home, or already own a home, and consume marijuana than you should avoid homeowners associations. Homeowners associations can discriminate, and likely will discriminate, against owners that consume and/or grow marijuana. Per The Oregonian:

Homeowners’ associations can’t ban members from using marijuana in their homes when it’s legal. But if neighbors can see or smell weed, the law is clear — HOAs have every right to regulate the drug as a nuisance, or a threat to children along the lines of a swimming pool with no fence.

“The fact that people may be legally entitled to smoke doesn’t mean they can do it wherever they want, any more than they could walk into a restaurant and light up a cigarette,” said Richard Thompson, who owns a management consulting company that specializes in condominium and homeowner associations.

Homeowners associations can ban cultivation, but can’t technically ban consumption. However, if a neighbor smells marijuana coming from your home, the homeowners association can take action. So while consuming on your own property can’t technically be banned, all it takes is one complaint without proof to obtain the same effect as marijuana consumption being prohibited. This goes for legal states, medical or recreational. It’s not right, and hopefully there will be challenge after challenge until all policies are updated to be sensible.

  • MrPC

    The assumption that an HOA can stop someone from smoking a substance that may be legally consumed in the privacy of one’s own home is questionable. I am not aware of any court decision that supports this theory. Can anyone provide an example?

    • Denny

      Some HOA-type communities are actually considered private property, and based on that designation they can “dictate” almost anything they prefer. When they have a private designation their streets are private, and this is something that often bites them in the wallet. At some point they will need repairs and replacement, and the cost can be astronomical–and this comment comes from former personal experience. When I lived in a domineering HOA the board was referred to as FIPs, formerly important people. Also, these communities are typically golfing-focused and the people who live there have the pleasure of watching the golf course operation drain the coffers dry, and then they come back for more via assessments.
      Read the CC&Rs and the specific rules before moving into any community that even hints of having a Homeowners Association.

      • MrPC

        I agree – you should definitely read all the HOA docs before buying or even renting in a community that has a homeowner’s association. That said, it’s not so clear when you own the property and smoking is legal.

  • Nurrah

    I prefer to avoid them entirely (except the ones that say no feed lots, that is totally OK with me…) but it was something I encountered over and over while looking for a place to rent until we can buy land. There is still a lot of affordable land in Colorado, just not if you want to be close to Denver. Know what you’re getting into, either leasing or buying.

  • YOU EVER NOTICE how anti-pot types are always the kind of people who are experts on what rights people DON’T have?

    ‘“The fact that people may be legally entitled to smoke doesn’t mean they
    can do it wherever they want, any more than they could walk into a
    restaurant and light up a cigarette,” said Richard Thompson, who owns a
    management consulting company that specializes in condominium and
    homeowner associations.”

  • Allan

    Who invented these rules? How can they ban cultivation, but not consumption / possession? Doesn’t make any sense…

  • firetheliberals

    My HOA are a bunch of thug liberals who collect 10k a year. We have mo playgrounds or extensive common areas. So, several years ago, they decided to spend 30 per cent of the annual dues to hire an attorney to rewrite the rules. Rules like they can fine you for any complaint, force you to pay for a contractor if they think you property design is not up to snuff, and along these lines a bunch of unconstitutional nanny state stuff.

    Instead of giving our money back they pay for their parties, like national nite out and the 4th of july where you sit around and drink to meet your neighbors..

    • Don’t know about the individuals in your HOA, but Liberals are the ones who most want to see pot legalized, Conservatives the least, and that’s been true for a long time.

  • Conservative Christian

    One good basis for any kind of rule-making process is the idea of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. None of us would want our kids put in jail over a little marijuana. None of us would want the police to confiscate and sell our parents’ home because they grew a couple of plants to help with the aches and pains of growing old. Let’s start treating other people
    the way we would want to be treated.