Ask a Stoner: Are Cannabis Bans in Rental Leases Enforceable?

Dear Stoner: Can I really not have any cannabis on my rental property? Like, none? I'm not even trying to grow it or smoke it inside, but my landlord was hard on this when I signed the lease.

Dear Cliffy: Cannabis use has become so mainstream that we forget how much federal prohibition still mucks things up. While Colorado's cannabis laws do allow in-home cannabis possession, consumption and a limited form of cultivation, those rights are only protected if you own the home or the rental lease doesn't ban such activities.
click to enlarge
Jacqueline Collins
Cannabis bans aren’t required on residential leases unless the building receives federal grants or sits on federally owned land — but property owners are still within their rights to prohibit the possession of a Schedule I drug. Leases can ban a lot of legal things, too, such as smoking or vaping tobacco (alcohol is protected), certain breeds of dogs, or pets altogether; with any luck, federal legalization will change all of that one day. In the meantime, it's best not to fight landlords too hard on it, and try to create a relationship that doesn't involve them being around often. If you live in a single-family home or apartment building with minimal supervision, chances are you'll be able to keep cannabis hidden and partake without a hassle.

Send questions to [email protected]
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego

Latest Stories