Massachusetts voters will be weighing a “medical” marijuana measure very similar to Arkansas’ this November, but landlords are not happy about the proposal.
Massachusetts’ proposal–much like Arkansas’–says that landlords cannot “discriminate” against tenants on the ground of marijuana use and possession. This is a problem, because federal law says it is illegal to possess or use marijuana for any reason whatsoever.
“In a worst-case scenario, the feds could step in and seize their properties for drug activity, the landlord advocates say.
“Medical marijuana exposes the landlord to civil asset forfeiture under a federal law that allows police departments or the Department of Justice to take a private property that has been used in any way for drug activity, said Skip Schloming, executive director of the Small Property Owners Association in Cambridge.
“‘This puts the landlord in the vise of the conflicting legislation,’ said Ron Bernard, editor of the Southern Worcester County Landlord Association’s newsletter and chairman of its membership committee.” (Read More Here)
Issue 5 says that private property cannot be seized in “medical” marijuana cases, but since Issue 5 would be a state law–not a federal law–it cannot stop property seizure under federal law.
In view of the similarities between Massachusetts’ marijuana proposal and Arkansas’ Issue 5, Arkansas’ landlords will likely face a similar predicament if Issue 5 passes.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.