Some California Renters Face Additional Restrictions on Smoking Pot at Home

Just because recreational weed is legal in California, doesn't necessarily mean you can smoke or grow pot in your apartment.

Although Proposition 64 says it is legal for Californians to smoke and grow a limited amount of cannabis plants in their homes, some renters face an additional set of restrictions that can prohibit them from partaking at home.

Under Prop 64, "owners may forbid the possession or use of marijuana on their property subject to normal tenant law for renters," which means apartment owners and landlords can restrict renters from lighting up, according to the LA County Department of Public Health.

Renters should check their leases to see if their landlord prohibits the "consumption or cultivation of marijuana" in units, advised Los Angeles County's new Office of Cannabis Management.

Owners will evict tenants if they refuse to abide by a no smoking prohibition, which typically applies to both tobacco and marijuana, said Debra Carlton, a spokeswoman for the California Apartment Association.

Voters approved Prop. 64 in November, but Carlton says the association's stance on weed has not changed. She does not expect apartment owners will shift their policies either.

"We believe that rental property owners have the right to prohibit use of marijuana on their property," Carlton said. "The challenge they face are neighboring tenants who complain about the nuisance and being exposed to secondhand smoke -- themselves and their children."

But in most cases, renters with a medical marijuana prescription should be able to consume cannabis in edible form by using edibles or oils.

Carlton said she's never heard of owners who have concerns about those products, since they do not cause a nuisance to neighbors. She does not believe recreational edibles are a concern to most owners either.

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