Homeowner Group Issue: What If Pot Is Legal, Neighbors Don’t Like It?


Marijuana and hemp issues are increasingly facing homeowners’ associations, reports the Associated Press. Some associations have changed their rules to accommodate for legal marijuana use or home-growing, but many more are banning home pot smoking. Homeowners’ associations can’t ban members from using marijuana in their homes when it’s legal. If neighbors can see or smell weed, associations may 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 of a management consulting company that specializes in condominium and homeowner associations. There are growing conflicts among neighbors who want to smoke pot and others who don’t want to see it or smell it. “What we’re really seeing more now is regulating the associations’ common areas,” such as smoke wafting onto playgrounds or others’ porches, said Erin McManis, an attorney in Phoenix whose firm represents hundreds of Arizona HOAs.

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