According to the Marijuana Policy Project, 68 percent of Americans live in states that have reformed their marijuana laws by allowing medical marijuana, imposing a fine — not possible jail time — on marijuana possession, or making marijuana legally available and regulated for adults’ use.

Polls continue to show growing support for recreational and medicinal purposes. Thus, in 2017, 23 states have introduced legislation to regulate marijuana like alcohol, 12 states have legislation seeking to decriminalize possession, and 16 states are seeking to create medical programs. However, what remains constant is marijuana is classified at the federal level as a Schedule I drug, meaning it is deemed to have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. The growing public support and inconsistency in state law (see below) and federal law, poses a challenge for associations, especially in communities seeking to restrict the smoking of marijuana.

At recent annual Community Association Law Seminar, presented by CAI and the College of Community Association Lawyers, Restricting Smoking in a Community Association, was one of four areas featured in the perennial session titled “Hot Topics”. Edmund A. Allcock, Esq., a partner at Braintree, Mass. law firm Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, provided legal theories on how associations may act to prevent smoking and the nuisance of secondhand smoke. In the manuscript drafted to accompany the presentations, he explains how associations may use their current governing documents as a tool and explores the challenges the community association legal community faces when it comes to marijuana smoke and reasonable accommodations.

Click here to download (for free) the Restricting Smoking in a Community Association manuscript from the 2015 Community Association Law Seminar.

By the Numbers: Marijuana in the States

  • 8 states regulate marijuana like is like alcohol.
  • 21 states and Washington, D.C. decriminalized possession.
  • 28 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam, have medical marijuana programs.

You may also visit for more information about the next Community Association Law Seminar, hosted in Palm Springs, Cali., Jan. 31 – Feb. 3, 2018 and visit our bookstore to download previous Law Seminar Proceedings.

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