My tenant claims to have a "medical marajuana" card/license. I asked to see proof because the lease specifically addresses possesion and/or use of illegal drugs on or in the property. I have asked her repeatedly for the last 2 1/2 weeks. Her response is the same every time, "I can't find it". The tenant next to her has temporarily moved in with her daughter elsewhere and is threatening to move out because she can't stand the smell. Is it legal to smoke medical marajuana outside on private property? Can I evict this person if she does not provide proof that this is in fact "medical marajuana"?
Examine your lease agreement to see if there are any provisions that would cover this type of situation. You state that there are such provisions in your question. Even if he "can't find it", he should be on the central registry with the CO Department of Health and should be easily able to get a letter from them to prove his lawful possession of medical marijuana. Even with the use of medical marijuana on a legitimate basis, there are provision directly written into the statute that it can not be grown and smoked or used in public. It sounds like the tenant is violating those provisions. So, no it is not legal to be toking up on marijuana outside of private property. You don't see a bunch of people on the Pueblo Riverwalk doing so. So, yes, you appear to be totally within your rights and the terms of the lease to evict him.
If your lease addresses illegal drug use, then it sounds like you have grounds for eviction. Post a 3 day notice for compliance requesting she provide the proof that her drug use is legal. If you end up in court, the tennant will have to show the judge proof that she actually has been medically prescribed marijuana - most judges won't accept "the dog ate my prescription".
It would also be a good idea in the future to consider limits in your lease with respect to where on the property people are allowed to smoke. Regardless of the prescription, when the smoke is impacting the neighbors it is a legitimate problem.
You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or [email protected] Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
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