D.C. Judge Rules Cannabis Patient Must Stop Smoking in Apartment Because Odor Causes Nuisance for Neighbor

A Washington D.C. judge ruled this week that a medical cannabis patient who smokes in his apartment must stop following a neighbor’s complaint that the odor caused a nuisance in her apartment.

Full story after the jump.

A Washington, D.C. judge on Monday ordered a man who smokes medical cannabis in his apartment to stop following a neighbor’s complaint that the odor caused a nuisance in her apartment, the Washington Post reports. Judge Ebony Scott ruled that Thomas Cackett has a license to purchase cannabis but “does not possess a license to disrupt the full use and enjoyment of one’s land.” 

“Indeed, the public interest is best served by eliminating the smoking nuisance and the toxins that it deposits into the air, toxins that involuntary smokers have no choice but to inhale.” — Scott, in the ruling, via the Post 

In the ruling, Scott determined, however, that the defendant, Josefa Ippolito-Sheperd, could not prove she was entitled to damages. Under the order, Cackett cannot smoke at his address or within 25 feet of Ippolito-Shepard’s address.  

The case is believed to be the first of its kind focused on medical cannabis consumption in multiple-unit dwellings, such as apartments. 

Ippolito-Sheperd, 76, argued that she had developed health problems and trouble sleeping since she noticed the smell of cannabis, the report says. She alleged that Cackett smoked cannabis “all day and all night” but he said he typically smokes “eight to 12 puffs” at night after work and notes that he is a registered patient in D.C. for pain.  

The decision does not set a legal precedent as an appellate decision would. 

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