Excellent legal analysis of protecting bystanders from cannabis use in multiunit housing

Dan Orenstein recently published an excellent review and analysis of extending smokefree multiunit housing laws to include cannabis, “Multiunit Housing and Cannabis: Good Laws Make Good Neighbors.” In particular, he considers the impact of the fact that cannabis remains illegal under federal law as well as prohibited from public use even in states that have legalized cannabis use as well as the residual effects of the failed War on Drugs.

He has a particularly nuanced discussion of equity issues, taking into account the fact that poor people are more likely to live in multiunit housing and be subject to discriminatory enforcement of drug laws. In the end, these factors tilt the scale toward legally-mandated cannabis smokefree multiunit housing.

He draws an important distinction between smoked and aerosolized cannabis — both of which pollute the air and create secondhand and thirdhand exposures — and non-inhaled consumption, such as edibles and tinctures. He makes a strong case for prohibiting the first and allowing the second. Indeed, allowing for non-polluting forms of cannabis consumption is the answer to arguments that users cannot use cannabis products in public.

Anyone interested in protecting non-users from second- and third-hand cannabis exposure at home should read this paper.

The full citation is: Daniel G. Orenstein, Multiunit Housing and Cannabis: Good Laws Make Good Neighbors, 49 Fordham Urb. L.J. 475 (2022). Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol49/iss3/1 . It is available here.

Published by Stanton Glantz

Stanton Glantz is a retired Professor of Medicine who served on the University of California San Francisco faculty for 45 years. He conducts research on tobacco and cannabis control and cardiovascular disease/

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