(FreeP) Keynote speaker state Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, who is term-limited and is making one of his last stands as a lawmaker by battling a bill that pits medical users of pot against landlords and apartment managers. It’s likely to come up for a vote in the state House this week, he said.
Irwin, whose career in the state House ends Dec. 31, said last week that he hoped to head off what he calls a fresh threat to Michigan’s medical-marijuana users. But the trade associations for apartment owners said the bill would reduce their property damage, fire risks,electric bills and complaints about odors resulting from medical-marijuana users who smoke or grow the drug in their units.
The bill is a proposed amendment to Michigan’s 2008 voter-approved medical marijuana act to let landlords ban any use of marijuana in apartments. As Senate Bill 72, it passed last week in the state Senate’s lame-duck session.
In lame-duck session, “the most odious, unpopular things” get passed quickly” unless someone raises the alarm, Irwin said. As he puts it, landlords are telling state lawmakers that “Gee, we’ve got some tenants who are inconsiderate and they disturb the peaceful tranquility of their neighbors.” Irwin said that’s no different from someone blasting a stereo or holding a party at 3 a.m. If the bad behavior continues, an apartment owner can use Michigan’s existing landlord-tenant laws to evict a bad actor, he said.
“This kind of problem is something for them to work out in the court system rather than adding this hammer to the state (medical) marijuana act and putting sick people out in the street,” Irwin said.