Smoking Weed: New Ban in Washington Problem For Medical Marijuana Users

By IScience Times Staff Reporter on January 5, 2013 1:39 AM EST

A woman smokes marijuana during a demonstration calling for the legalisation of the drug in Guatemala City November 24, 2012.
Can smoking weed be banned in the privacy of your own home? Absolutely, say the managers of an apartment complex in the state of Washington. Attorneys and politicians are now debating whether the apartment edict could actually be upheld. (Photo: Reuters)

In early December, smoking weed became legal in Washington state. Yet one apartment complex said: no way, not happening in our building.

Owners of a Mercer Island complex recently told residents that they couldn't smoke pot or cigarettes in their apartments, even if the doors and windows were closed. 

Resident Alexander Aversano is infuriated. "It's scary," he told MSNBC. "It affects my way of life."

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An Army veteran, Aversano uses a smokeless cannabis oil to alleviate back pain that came from his time in the Iraq war in 2005.

"It's like the Gestapo," he said about the three-page notice placed on tenants' doors on Thursday night.

The management company, Abode Management, LLC of Renton, goes one step farther saying apartments can be searched if they receive a complaint in writing about a certain resident.

Resident Tim Bursey didn't care one way or the other. "I don't do that anyway," he said. "So it doesn't bother me." 

In early December, Washington became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, a drug that is still considered illegal by the federal government. To celebrate, people took to the streets to smoke in public places - despite the fact that smoking weed is still banned in public places.

Voters in Washington and Colorado changed the law books in November when they legalized possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. 

Ten years ago, only 30 percent of Americans said smoking weed should be legal when asked in a Gallup poll. In early December 2012, a Public Policy Polling poll found that 58 percent of Americans thought weed should be legal.

"Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on Dec. 6 in Washington state, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law," U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan in Seattle said in a statement.

If asked, the owners of the Mercer Island complex would surely agree.

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