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Proposed Law Would Allow Landlords To Oust Tenants For Smoking Marijuana

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A proposed law would allow your landlord to kick you out if they catch you smoking marijuana in the privacy of your own apartment. The proposal comes from Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Sonoma County), and would allow cannabis use to be lumped in with tobacco when it comes to the optional no-smoking rules landlords already can employ, LA Weekly reports.The bill passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee earlier this week.

Medical marijuana patients would still be able to use cannabis products that did not require smoking, such as edibles or tinctures. If marijuana is legalized in the state of California, the new law would also apply to recreational usage.

From the proposal:

Existing law, the Medical Marijuana Program, requires the State Department of Public Health to establish and maintain a voluntary program for the issuance of identification cards to qualified patients who satisfy specified requirements with respect to the use of medical marijuana. Existing law provides that the Medical Marijuana Program does not authorize a person with an identification card to smoke medical marijuana under specified circumstances, including in a location at which smoking is prohibited by law. This bill would also state that the Medical Marijuana Program does not authorize the smoking of medical marijuana where smoking is prohibited by a landlord, as specified.
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Wood's reasoning comes from a study from UC San Francisco that indicates that second-hand smoke from marijuana may be just as harmful as second-hand smoke from cigarettes. Matthew Springer, a professor of medicine at UCSF's Division of Cardiology, said that tobacco and marijuana share "thousands of chemicals that result from burning dried plant material, and many of these chemicals are harmful."

However, he also stated that the effects of second-hand cannabis smoke "have only recently begun to be studied, and we are seeing that just a few minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke from tobacco and marijuana have the same negative effect on the ability of arteries to carry enough blood, with marijuana causing a longer-lasting effect than tobacco."

Springer told the Sacramento Bee that he was inspired to study the effects of marijuana smoke when attending a particularly hazy Paul McCartney concert.

He studied rats who were exposed to marijuana smoke that contained TCH and marijuana smoke that didn't contain THC. He found that in either case, blood vessel function decreased by 70% after a half an hour of exposure.

It's not clear if vaping cannabis would be included, as activists contend that vaping cannabis is not the same as smoking it. Springer did not study vaping in his research.

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A different study conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin at UCLA in 2006, notably, found that marijuana smokers did not have an increased risk of developing lung cancer, according to Scientific American.

Though cannabis smoke does not linger in the same way as cigarette smoke, Wood says that the smoke can be a problem because it can travel through doors, windows and ventilation systems. "It's a nuisance that tenants should not have to live with," he said.