Phil Querin Q&A: Resident Growing Marijuana Plants - Follow Up and Additional Resources

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October 15, 2013

Following last week’s article on the issue of marijuana cultivation in a manufactured housing community, I received, compliments of John VanLandingham, some good resource materials that I’d like to pass along.

Readers of my article will note that my focus was primarily on the federal laws. This was because during my research, I was directed by the Oregon Health Authority (here) to the federal HUD website. However, as John points out, “…Oregon fair housing law is "substantially equivalent" to federal fair housing law.” So, generally speaking, on the issue of medical marijuana, as goes the federal law, so goes Oregon law. John directed me to the 2010 Oregon case of Emerald Steel Fabricators, Inc. v. Bureau of Labor and Industries, which addressed many unanswered questions on the use of medical marijuana in this state. The answers contained in that case represent the most current state of medical marijuana law in Oregon both from an employment and housing perspective. John, as a board member of Fair Housing Council of Oregon (“FHCO”), also directed me to the following FHCO article [authored after the Emerald Steel Fabricators case], which serves as a good resource on the issue of medical marijuana use in Oregon. The FHCO article can be found here. Keep in mind that the law is still developing, so you should consult your own legal counsel on these issues. These MHCO articles should not be relied upon as legal advice. So, to incorporate these resources into my prior answer, here are some “take-away” points for park owners and managers on the issue of usage and cultivation of medical marijuana in Oregon manufactured housing communities: • If the resident insists that you make a reasonable accommodation for them because their use is due to a disability, you may say “N0.” Note, however, park residents still have the right to ask for a reasonable accommodation. • Owners and managers may not deny an applicant housing availability simply because they have, or intend to obtain, a medical marijuana card [any more than management may deny tenancy to a person who says he or she has a disability]. • To reiterate what I said in last week’s article, it is my opinion that park management should institute a medical marijuana policy in the rules, dealing both with the use and cultivation of the substance inside the community. It is not a fair housing violation to prohibit it in the rules. However, if legal use or cultivation [i.e. according to Oregon state law] occurs in a community, and there are no express prohibitions against doing so, it may be difficult to bring an eviction action for the activity, unless it violates some other rule or provision in the rental agreement.

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