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Colorado’s Neighbors Find Marijuana a Problem, and so do Homeowners’ Associations

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Colorado’s Neighbors Find Marijuana a Problem, and so do Homeowners’ Associations

Pot legalization not as smooth as many would have you believe


Well, it had to happen and it’s all over the news, USA Today, Washington Post, NPR, New York Times— one state bordering another state where pot has been legalized for recreational use had to react no to pot.jpgstrongly. In fact, two states did just that. Nebraska and Oklahoma, which border Colorado, filed suit towards the end of December, challenging that state’s legalization. It was only a matter of time before that happened, don’t you think? The two are going so far as to ask the Supreme Court to “strike down key parts” of a measure that not only legalized pot in CO but creates regulations surrounding selling it. Oklahoma and Nebraska are tired of CO pot going across state lines to them.

For one thing, people are  bringing pot across the CO border, and  arrests relating to that are taxing the Neb. and probably Okla. budgets. For another, the extra pot is forcing the two states to spend more time and allocate more funds for these marijuana-related arrests. They’re also mad that CO didn’t take measures to try and deter this.

There’s another interesting ramification of legalization of marijuana (for either medical or recreational use)—homeowners’ or condos’ associations are having to deal with issues! They can’t ban residents from using the drug at home, but they can regulate its use as a nuisance or as a threat to children if neighbors can see or smell marijuana.  The Associated Press article I read said that “Growing pot and hemp is prompting neighbor disputes, too,” and that’s in CO.

What’s weird is that not all judges seem to know that Home Owners Associations can regulate the use. I was watching one of the programs where a judge arbitrates cases, in which one condo owner was suing another because the pot smoke from next door was wafting into her unit. The judge ruled that people have a right to do what they want in their own homes. She obviously hadn’t read the latest legislation the homeowners can regulate pot use in some cases.

Pot crossing state lines, pot in condos….sounds like some of the things people wondered about or questioned at the start of the movement to legalize marijuana. You wonder about the effect on children of being around pot if they constantly see it and hear about it, especially teens. Could it be an incentive to try it?

An article in the Lancet (Volume 1, September 2014) was one of several appearing last year that reported on the effect of adolescent pot use. The results of the study detailed in the article are not good.

One of the researchers said, “We recorded clear and consistent associations and dose-response relations between the frequency of adolescent cannabis use and all adverse young adult outcomes.”

The study indicated that compared with young people who had never smoked pot, students who smoked excessively before age 17 had a lower chance of graduating from high school and increased the odds of becoming dependent on pot later.

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