An article in the January issue of The Cooperator recently stated: “Cooperate apartment corporations often confront situations where a particular shareholder’s behavior is offensive to others in the building.” Truer words have not been spoken and FGC is no exception.
Even before the District legalized marijuana in February 2015, FGC’s board was receiving complaints from some co-op members about the smell of marijuana. Reportedly, it was often prevalent in the hallway on certain floors and seeping into their unit. When the city made it lawful for DC residents to possess and use limited amounts of marijuana, it created an additional revenue source for the city and satisfied the appetite of potheads, but it also added to the problem for non-smoking residents living in multi-family housing. Adamant non-smokers object to inhaling any second-hand smoke, including weed. This presents a dilemma for a board that tries to appease disgruntled non-smoker shareholders without infringing on the rights of potheads, er, smokers in general.
The governing documents of cooperative apartments and condos typically contain provisions that prohibit disruptive and illegal conduct by a shareholder. These documents usually allow for termination of a shareholder’s membership for unacceptable behavior. But when the original documents do not contain a non-smoking policy, adding one could be like finding a sophisticated supporter at a Trump rally.