Oregon Bans Landlords From Denying Housing to Renters for Prior Weed Offenses
The legislation also prevents landlords from denying housing or evicting people over compliant medical marijuana use.
Published on June 4, 2019

Oregon’s legislature passed a housing bill that prevents landlords from discriminating against tenants over cannabis.

Late last week, the state legislature approved SB 970, which bans landlords from denying housing to renters with prior, minor cannabis convictions. The bill also bans landlords from denying housing or evicting medical marijuana patients who comply with state laws.

SB 970 clarified existing legislation which only allows landlords to deny applicants convicted of crimes that could “negatively affect the rental property or others living there,” Oregon Live reported.

One of the most prominent opponents of SB 970 is Rental Housing Alliance Oregon, an organization that represents the state’s landlords. The alliance opposed the bill on grounds that it forced landlords to “ignore convictions others can consider is wrong,” wrote Ron Garcia, the organization’s legislative chair, to the Senate Housing Committee.

SB 970 does not impose limits or restrictions on smoking fees for rental properties.

Renters with prior weed convictions may get additional help if SB 420, which is currently being discussed in the House, becomes law. SB 420 is Oregon’s “expungement bill,” which would clear convictions from an individual’s record for any previous cannabis offenses that no longer qualify as crimes under current state law.

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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