Canada's Condominium Magazine
As Canadians brace themselves for the legalization of marijuana, many property managers and condo boards have begun to implement their own policies regarding the substance, with some banning its use altogether. Residents remain divided on the issue, with some suggesting that the move is a violation of their right to use what will be a legal substance while others insist that permitting its use to appease the few is not worth the issues that it may cause the rest of the residents and owners, as well as investors.
Those opposed to condo bans on marijuana use have voiced their disdain for such a move. Those who use marijuana for recreational purposes maintain that it is their right to use the substance within the confines of their own home once it is legalized, and nobody should be able to tell them otherwise.
Furthermore, those who use it for medicinal purposes may be adversely affected if a drug that could relieve symptoms is restricted even after legalization. Their argument is that they paid for their unit, and they have the right to use it as they see fit and to do whatever they please in their home, so long as they are not violating any laws.
Those in Favour of the Move
However, not everyone is opposed to the move. Some have expressed a desire to keep their condo building free of odours associated with marijuana use. They say that the use of marijuana in such close quarters could be hazardous to neighbours as well as make it difficult for them to enjoy a condo that cost $1 million or more.
The elderly and families with children are most in favour of a condo ban on marijuana due to the odours and the health concerns, especially as some fear that bringing the substance into condos will bring it closer to being in the hands of youths despite legislation prohibiting distribution of marijuana to children.
The decision whether to regulate marijuana use is up to the individual buildings, property managers, and condo boards. They have full freedom to regulate as they wish, and many wonder where their building lies in the debate. Non-users are hoping that they will pass these bans so that their homes remain enjoyable, especially considering the high cost of real estate.
Furthermore, they point out that it is much easier for a few users to move to a building that does permit marijuana use than it is for an entire building full of people to relocate because they can no longer enjoy living in their homes. Others also fear that their property values will plummet if these regulations are not passed.
Finding the Middle Ground
Some residents have expressed an opinion that the two sides could compromise. Instead of banning marijuana use altogether, simply ban smoking. Marijuana users could thus continue to use the substance through edibles without subjecting neighbours to the smoke and unwanted odours.
Condo boards and property managers are scrambling to implement these regulations limiting smoking of any kind before the marijuana legislation is passed. If successful, the only people who would be grandfathered into the laws are tobacco smokers. However, if these regulations are not passed in time, then both tobacco and marijuana users will have to be grandfathered in, which means that only future tenants and users will be forced to comply with the rules.