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An article in today’s Boston Globe vividly describes an issue that I’ve not had to deal with personally, since I live in a single-family house, and for decades now, workplaces, airplanes and public buildings are thankfully smoke-free.

Apparently — and I’d be interested in feedback from people who live in apartment or condo buildings, large or small — the smoke and aroma of marijuana is pervasive perhaps in a way that even cigarette smoke is not. And even the plants themselves give off an odor? Here’s an excerpt:

Some condo associations in Greater Boston are trying to pass amendments to their governing documents that prohibit residents from smoking pot — or growing stinky pot plants — in their own homes. Management companies are installing high-tech in-unit detectors that send real-time alerts ratting out smokers. Lawyers are being retained to represent neighbors disturbed by smoke from those with medical marijuana permits.
 
In Belmont, Boston, and Newton, even a dog with a nose for dope is being called in. A Belgian Malinois named Ben has been trained to detect drugs and regularly gets hired to sniff around exterior door seams in condos and apartments. His owner, Tom Robichaud, the founder of Discreet Intervention in Wrentham, described a typical scenario: “I get a call from someone who owns a three-family house and units two and three are complaining that unit number one is smoking dope or something.”
I grew up with parents who smoked cigarettes, and spent long car trips with my nose out the window begging my parents to please not smoke in the car. My rare exposures to second-hand marijuana smoke in college seemed to trigger migraine headaches. I remember the ’80s, how awful it was to walk into FARS (the Financial Accounting & Reporting Section of the GM Building in Detroit), where it seemed everybody smoked, how lucky I felt that I only seemed to share two-person offices with non-smokers, how I’d try to get seats on airplanes as far away from the ‘smoking’ section as possible. I would never want to live in a building that wasn’t completely smoke-free. 
 
But I do support medical marijuana, so what are the options for people who want to use it? And is there a right to clean air for those who don’t? Should condo associations be able to ban marijuana smoking but not tobacco cigarettes? (Since grandfathered tobacco smokers are apparently getting caught up in the marijuana dispute.) Or should they be able to ban tobacco cigarettes but not medical marijuana? (And would defining medical become like defining what’s a service animal?) Is eating medical marijuana as effective as smoking it? Is there a technical solution, that will suck in the smoke and keep it contained?

 

 
 






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