In Massachusetts can a landlord evict a tenant for smoking marijuana

Asked 9 months ago - Littleton, MA

In Massachusetts it is decriminalized for recreational use,meaning consuming marijuana is a civil infraction as opposed to a criminal offense, and legal for medical marijuana patients. . I need to look over the lease to see if it specifically states that the consumption of marijuana is grounds for immediate eviction. If I were to get approval from a licensed clinician to use medical marijuana is it still grounds for eviction?
I am not a medical marijuana patient because it isn't a known treatment for the ailments I use it for. I am a recreational smoker who wants to know, can my landlord kick me (and my mom who is the head of the household) out for consuming marijuana?

Additional information

update 4/1/14
The lease does not say anything about smoking tobacco products. it only says "any kind of illegal drug activity weather it be the sale of illegal drugs or the use of illegal drugs is prohibited on any part of this property as well as any unit in this propery. Anyone that is arrested for any type of illegal drug activity will be evicted from their unit."

In a letter I have received today it also says, "I understand that these days having a small amount of marijuana on a person and being caught by the police only results in a fine, but for the purposes of state aided public housing it is considered a crime and you will be evicted."

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Richard D. Vetstein

    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . This very issue will be considered by the Mass. SJC next week in the case of TRENEA FIGGS vs. BOSTON HOUSING AUTHORITY, SJC-11532. Because the possession of under an ounce of pot is now simply a civil infraction, my guess is that the court will rule that smoking pot in and of itself cannot be a violation of the lease, unless it becomes a legal nuisance to other tenants. Folks with medical marijuana cards will be protected by the disability laws and given the benefit of reasonable accomodations. Of course, there is now vapor technology to significantly reduce the smoke and smell of marijuana.

  2. Michael A. Satterwhite

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . What does the lease say about smoking in general?

    The information on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Attorney Satterwhite invites you to... more
  3. Adam Peter Phipps

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . A landlord can evict a tenant for any non-discriminatory reason they like or for no reason. If you are a month to month tenant, you would need to have a substantive defense to the eviction: retaliation, discrimination, or other statutory or common-law claim that awards possession to the tenant.

    If you have a lease the terms of the lease will shed some light, but is not always telling as in my experience many leases hold unlawful or voidable clauses.; so it's best to consult a landlord tenant attorney.

    These are generic informational answers, not to be construed as legal advice or creating an Attorney client... more

Related Topics

Landlord-tenant law

Landlord-tenant law is governed mostly by state laws, and covers issues like security deposit limits and deadlines, evictions, and the right to withhold rent.

Breaking a lease agreement

Breaking a lease is considered a breach of contract, and you may have to pay a penalty to do so, unless the law prohibits penalties for your specific situation.

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