When Ontario’s rules for use recreational marijuana were announced last year, one of the more controversial aspects was where it could be consumed. Unlike some countries overseas, there would be no so-called marijuana cafes here where people could congregate and smoke. Recreational marijuana can only be smoked inside a person’s home and nowhere else. While that seemed like a compromise that some people were willing to accept (albeit reluctantly), some Ontario landlords have strenuously objected.
This group not only wants to ban pot use in their units before it is even legal this July, they also want the right to change existing leases to add the restriction (they have the right to add it to the lease of any unit rented after legalization begins). While one can understand this objection from a cost standpoint (they argue it can be about $5,000 to remove the smoke smell causes by frequent users), there is also the issue that pot fumes will seep into other units, just like cigarette smoke.
The problem for users is that if they cannot smoke at home, what can they do? It makes marijuana use illegal once again, which is one of the very things the law change was supposed to eliminate. Also, do landlords even have the right to ban what will be a legal substance for those 19 and over?
Anyone who has had dealings with the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board knows that it already functions less than optimally. If landlords try to force this upon tenants and attempt to evict those that do not comply, it could lead to many more cases at an entity that can hardly keep up as it is.
One good compromise would be common sense, just like not constantly cooking meals that have a harsh smell or playing music into the late hours of the evening. We will find out in the months to come.