Here are a few of the dozen or so email responses I’ve received regarding my Sunday column “Wake up and smell the pot.”
One reader writes, “Your story really resonated with me. I have lost contact with my two sons because my ex-wife decided to get into the pot-growing and distribution business. She had over 100 plants in her home. My oldest son got into using and dropped out of high school. I worked really hard to get enough evidence together and presented it to (law enforcement) . . . but they said they could not do anything because the district attorney would not prosecute home growers.”
The writer, whose name I’m withholding, said his kids now will not see him because they call him a “narc.”
“My heart is broken,” he wrote. “Yes, there is a very ugly side to (Proposition) 215. I’m living it.”
Brent Kudzus of Windsor writes to Chris Smith and me, “I agree with everything that both of you said in your recent columns about legalized marijuana use, but the pot problem is much older than Prop. 215. When I was a student back in the ’70s pot was everywhere. Anybody could get it and that was long before Prop. 215. It is said that a full 10 percent of Americans routinely smoke pot . . . That being said, Prop. 215 has made it easier for renters to damage property, and I doubt that any of us wants to live very close to a pot garden.”
Keith Becker, president of DeDe’s Rentals & Property Management of Santa Rosa, says his company has had an anti-marijuana policy “including very clear, visible signage in our office and verbiage in our contracts” since early 2011.
“Before instituting the policy, we consulted with two separate attorneys. With ADA issues at stake, you can imagine that we didn’t want a legal miscalculation,” he wrote.
Becker directed me to his blog in which he warns about another problem: That if a renter is using a house for growing, a landlord could have the property seized under civil asset forfeiture statutes. “This means the government doesn’t have to file a charge or obtain a criminal conviction. Instead, all they have to show is probable cause of the property’s involvement in a crime,” he wrote.
Becker’s blog on the subject is a good read. Click here to see it.
- Paul Gullixson