Pubdate: Tue, 04 Feb 2014
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2014 The Arizona Republic
Author: Luci Scott


A cancer survivor who lives in Carrillo Ranch in Chandler says he 
will begin circulating a petition to overturn that homeowners 
association board's rule that homeowners and guests cannot smoke 
medical marijuana in their yards or on their patios.

Tom Labonte, who lives in the 4700 block of West Carla Vista Drive in 
Chandler and is in remission from prostate cancer, said he does not 
use medical marijuana, but he has friends who do.

"I am an advocate for people who have cancer who are no longer in 
remission," Labonte said.

Labonte said he plans to take his petition door-to-door at Carrillo 
Ranch, a community east of Rural Road between Ray Road and Chandler Boulevard.

The board voted to prohibit the smoking of marijuana - medical or 
recreational - in residents' backyards, front yards, patios and common areas.

It's the ban on individuals' property that has angered some 
residents, including Labonte, who supports patients' use of medical 
marijuana to treat side effects from cancer.

He said that for people on chemotherapy who have mouth sores, nausea, 
listlessness and lack of appetite, "medical marijuana is almost a 
miracle drug."

"People who are fighting this disease don't need the ignorance of the 
homeowners association trying to enforce (a ban)," he said. "The 
board overstepped its bounds. We don't live in Cuba. We don't live in 
Russia. We live in the United States, where law-abiding citizens have 
the right to follow their doctors' advice and consent to feel better."

Labonte emphasized that he is not advocating for people who just want 
to get high, but only for medical use.

Curtis Ekmark, whose law firm drafted the rule for Carrillo Ranch's 
board, said HOAs are trying to head off disputes.

Ryan Hurley, a partner with the Rose Law Group, said HOAs can 
prohibit marijuana in common areas, but that "prohibiting people from 
smoking in their backyards ... is an overreach. It would be awfully 
hard to enforce."

Brian Lincks, president of City Property Management, the management 
company for Carrillo Ranch, said the ban was adopted lawfully because 
the covenants, conditions and restrictions of the HOA allow the board 
to make rules governing the lots.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom