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Bill Permitting California Landlords to Ban Medical Pot is Dropped

Maureen Meehan

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smoking marijuana, joint, blunt

The California legislature agreed on Wednesday to drop a proposed bill that would have allowed landlords to evict tenants for smoking medical marijuana in their homes.

The bill, proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Jim Wood from Northern California, sought to ban medical marijuana use in rented apartments, claiming that secondhand smoke is unhealthy and could seep through the windows or ventilation systems to other people’s apartments.

However, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and other medical marijuana advocates argued that the proposed bill severely narrowed the rights of patients to use MMJ as they or their doctors see fit.

Liz Snow, spokeswoman for Jim Wood, said the assemblyman had agreed to drop the bill in view of Jackson’s concerns over medical marijuana patients, reported the LA Times.

“They had a difference of opinion regarding the effectiveness of cannabis delivery mechanisms other than smoking.” Snow said.

While the CDC says that tobacco and marijuana smoke both carry numerous cancer-causing chemicals, research efforts linking marijuana to cancer and/or lung disease have been inconclusive. Donald P. Tashkin, MD, emeritus professor of medicine and medical director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, performed US-government sponsored studies of marijuana and lung function for over 30 years. His research, which was published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society, reiterated that the ingestion of cannabis smoke poses nominal pulmonary risks compared to those associated with tobacco smoke. And there are also the findings of the largest and longest study to ever consider the impact of marijuana on lung function, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: The authors of the study found that marijuana smokers performed better on tests of lung function compared to nonsmokers and cigarette smokers.

Janet, a Fresno apartment dweller who asked not to have her name published, told HIGH TIMES that she cut out prescription painkillers for her carpal tunnel and a herniated disc once she began using medical marijuana several years ago.

“The threat of my landlord banning consumption of medical marijuana was a serious concern of mine,” Janet explained. “Thankfully, that is one less issue to worry about.”

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