Lodging Industry Applauds Attorney General Opinion on Smoking of Medical Marijuana in Hotels

Sep 16, 2011, 15:13 ET from Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association

Opinion provides for public safety, while eliminating confusion created by interplay of smoking ban and medical marijuana amendment

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association applauded yesterday's ruling by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette indicating that it is illegal for medical marijuana certificate holders to smoke in places of public accommodation.  The opinion (Opinion No. 7261) eliminates confusion surrounding a situation made hazy by the potential mixture of marijuana smoke and the statewide smoking ban.  

In that opinion, the Attorney General reacted to three questions posed by concerned innkeepers through the auspices of the office of State Senator Rick Jones.  In a thirteen page opinion the Attorney General reacted to the three questions posed in the following manner:

  1. Does the statewide ban on the smoking of tobacco products in public places extend to the smoking of medical marijuana?  The Attorney General found that the smoking ban does not apply to the smoking of medical marijuana
  2. If the smoking ban does not extend to the smoking of medical marijuana, does the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act's (MMMA) prohibition against smoking medical marijuana in a public place apply to public places such as food service establishments, motels, hotels, or apartments? The opinion holds that the MMMA prohibits smoking of medical marijuana in public areas of food service establishments, hotels, motels, apartment buildings and any other place open to the public.
  3. If neither the smoking ban, nor the MMMA applies, may the owner of a public place, food service establishment, hotel or motel, or apartment still prohibit the smoking of medical marijuana within their facility?  The opinion states that neither the MMMA nor any other law precludes the owner of a hotel, motel, apartment building, or any similar facility from prohibiting the smoking, or growing of marijuana anywhere on the premises.

"Smoking of medical marijuana in guest rooms where ashtrays are banned is not a safe situation," said MLTA President Steve Yencich.  "We are pleased to tell our members that the law is clear; they have the ability to establish policies which protect their guests and allow them to be served in the best manner possible.  We applaud the Attorney General's action in this matter and deeply appreciate the assistance of Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) in eliciting this vitally important opinion."

Based in Lansing, the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association is a 106-year-old trade association that educates, markets, and advocates on behalf of Michigan's lodging and tourism industries.

SOURCE Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association