South Phoenix apartment complex bans use of medical marijuana on property

Posted at 6:44 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-05 08:05:59-04

A few days ago residents at The Pointe at South Mountain apartment complex received a letter reminding them that marijuana at the complex is not allowed — including medical marijuana. 

"I thought it was an infringement on people who use this medically," said "Jay," a resident of two years at the complex. "But if someone needed this medically, I think that's terrible and awfully wrong."

The letter reminds residents about their obligations under the terms of their lease as they had received reports and seen people "consuming controlled substance while on community ground."

Because of that, it reminded residents that any use, including medical marijuana, is prohibited. If people fail to comply they will face the consequences.

"Interestingly, they can prevent you from using marijuana on their property," said Alex Karam, an attorney with Smith Saks PLC.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana law only keeps property owners from discriminating against card holders. Federally, it's still illegal. So property owners can forbid the drug.

The letter specifically mentions the Controlled Substance Act, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning the federal government views it as highly addictive and having no medical value.

"The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act did not legalize marijuana in any way. It simply created a safe harbor provision for patients so they would be immune from prosecution for their medical use," Karam said.

Unfortunately for medical pot patients who live there, there really isn't anything they can do. Their best options, legal experts say, is purchasing a house of their own.

"If used, you definitely should cease otherwise you'll be evicted. But possession only? It's kind of a gray area and it's something you may want to speak to an attorney about," Karam advised.