COLORADO: Pot may be legal in some states – but the neighbors don’t have to like it.
Marijuana and hemp have joined wacky paint colors and unsightly fences as common neighborhood disputes facing homeowners’ associations. Though a few HOAs have willingly changed their rules to accommodate legal marijuana use or home-growing, many more are banning home pot smoking.
Homeowners’ associations can’t ban members from using marijuana in their homes when it’s legal. But if neighbors can see or smell weed, the law is clear — HOAs have every right to regulate the drug as a nuisance, or a threat to children along the lines of a swimming pool with no fence.
“The fact that people may be legally entitled to smoke doesn’t mean they can do it wherever they want, any more than they could walk into a restaurant and light up a cigarette,” said Richard Thompson, who owns a management consulting company that specializes in condominium and homeowner associations.