SPRINGFIELD - As Illinois enters legalizing medical marijuana, questions about landlord rights are making their way into mainstream discussions already going on in California. From the LA Times -
Question: I manage an apartment complex and have a tenant, "James," who smokes marijuana inside his apartment and out on the balcony. Many of the other tenants in the complex complain about the marijuana smoke, including the mother of a boy with asthma. James says he has a medical marijuana card for chronic pain, and I believe him. Under the fair housing laws, do I have to let him smoke on the balcony or inside his apartment?
Under the federal Fair Housing Act, housing providers are ordinarily obligated to provide reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities to ensure that they have the full use and enjoyment of their homes. So one might think that the housing provider in this case might be obliged to allow James to smoke marijuana as a reasonable accommodation, assuming James can show that marijuana is part of the medical treatment for his disability.
However, the federal Fair Housing Act reasonable accommodation provisions exclude the current use of a "controlled substance" under federal law from protection.
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