Medical Marijuana User Faces Eviction -- Again
A cancer patient whose eviction from her federally subsidized apartment around Christmas of 2009 was halted amid an outcry faces homelessness again.
Lori Montroy, 52, said she has been in a panic since she got an eviction notice last month at the apartment where she has lived since 2008.
“It’s just draining the life out of me, these people,” Montroy said. “Why can’t they just leave me be?” Montroy thought her apartment was safe after the last dust-up over her medical marijuana use two years ago.
The company that then managed the apartment complex called off the eviction in early 2010 amid bad publicity following a Northern Express article and a plea from ACLU attorneys. The attorneys argued that under federal law, landlords are not required to evict tenants for drug use under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
Since then, though, another property management company has taken over the building where Montroy lives, and the new landlord says he plans to go ahead with the eviction.
The landlord, Steve Wright, says he would like to help Montroy find another place to live, if she’s willing to accept it.
But as for his apartment complex, Wright said he does not allow users of medical marijuana and he said he cannot make exceptions.
‘NOT HURTING ANYONE’
Montroy, who suffers from an aggressive and fatal form of brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme, for which marijuana gives her some respite, said she is afraid she’s going to wind up without a home.
It didn’t take long for the new managers, who took over late last year, to discover her marijuana use and to initiate eviction proceedings against her, she said.
When a property manager visited her apartment in February, not long after Montroy had smoked some marijuana, the manager apparently could smell marijuana smoke and left the apartment abruptly.
Days later Montroy received a “notice of lease violation” and on March 24 she received an eviction notice.
Montroy maintains she is harmless and believes the management doesn’t need to evict her.
“They have an option, it’s written right in the law, that they do not have to kick me out,” Montroy said. “I’m not hurting anyone, so I don’t know why they would want to kick me out.”
She said she always pays her rent on time and never causes any trouble.
Montroy also says she complies fully with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. She never possesses more than what is allowed and she keeps her supply locked up.
Montroy said she believes use of marijuana has helped her get through an incredibly painful and difficult ordeal and she credits the drug with helping restore her health.
Montroy said a recent MRI showed the tumor was gone, though she said she is still experiencing the same pain that had been caused by the tumor, something she said her doctor now attributes to swelling. She will know more in six months when she gets another MRI, she said.