Chandler HOA bans medical marijuana in backyards

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by Tanya Mendis

Bio | Email | Follow: @tanyamendis

azfamily.com

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 5 at 2:35 PM

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- When it comes to medical marijuana, one valley HOA is saying "not in my backyard!"

A Chandler HOA is banning pot from everyone's property, whether they have a prescription or not.

Some  homeowners say they disagree with the restrictions.  "It's just ridiculous," says Mike Willis, Carrillo Ranch homeowner. "What's next?"

Willis says his homeowner's association is trespassing in his backyard. "I would say they stepped way beyond their boundaries."

Have a license to smoke pot? Better keep it indoors if you live in Carrillo Ranch. According to rules set by the homeowner's association, marijuana smoking is banned in the front yard, backyard and patio, whether you have a medical marijuana card or not. That has some neighbors fired up.

"Let's work on the weeds in people's yards and things like that," says Willis. That's exactly what we found Phillip Rupp doing in his front yard when we caught up with him.

"They're paying property taxes and HOA fees," says Rupp. "Why can't they do what they want in their own house?"

Rupp's wife says live and let live. "What he does on his property is his business," says Erika Rupp. "He pays the homeowners, he takes care of his property. It's none of my business."

With the new rules now sparking a community debate, we went to a lawyer who specializes in medical marijuana law. 

"These patients have the right to use their medication just like you or I have the right to use any prescription," says attorney Ryan Hurley. "The HOA rules also apply to common areas in the neighborhood."

And Hurley says that's where the restrictions should end.

"I tend to think that any incursion into the private property rights of somebody using the medication on their own property is probably an overreach," says Hurley.

Willis agrees."It's just appalling," he says. "Whether I partake in it or not, and I don't, it's private property."

3TV spoke to the lawyer who drafted the rules for this case. He wouldn't talk specifics, but he did says the rules are drafted on a case-by-case basis, depending on what the HOA will allow.

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