Although this blog is young, I want to get on the bandwagon of predictions for 2016. If nothing else, it will be good for a laugh in a year when it turns out I was incredibly wrong.
My prediction for 2016 – this will be the year that the tensions between legalized medical marijuana and Condo Associations and HOAs starts to come to a head.
I believe about 23 states now have legalized marijuana in one form or another – medical or recreational. Many of these, as you’d expect, are in populous areas of the country, particularly the West Coast (shocker) and Northeast.
Several smart people in other states have done some great legal analysis – these two stuck out for me as particularly helpful. Here’s what they boil down to if your attention span is short and you want a layman’s explanation:
You have two main legal forces fighting:
1) A Condo Association’s ability to prevent nuisances and promote quiet enjoyment.
2) Medical marijuana being classified as a disability and thus requiring reasonable accommodation.
As you can see in the articles I linked, it’s not really clear which principle “wins” – no major test case has moved along yet. And of course, lawyers being lawyers, when a test case does come, it won’t be clear cut, and likely there will be appeals. But the bottom line is that with increased marijuana usage, you may see a case where an Owner decides to take on his Association – or an Association does something glaringly dumb that provokes Owner engagement – and a case starts making its way through the system.
One major factor could derail this prediction, which has nothing to do with Condos, but everything to do with marijuana users, is that most people are now using vaporizers, which dramatically reduce the odor. That may go a long way to reducing tensions. But despite this, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this issue pick up steam (see what I did there) in 2016.
May you have a highly pleasing holiday!