Landlords, beware: you may get in more trouble than your tenants if they are caught doing something illegal on your premises. The Missoulian reports that Jonathan Janetski was arrested and charged along his tenants, who were growing medical marijuana on the premises. Allegedly, Jonathan believed that what his tenants was doing was legal, because using medical marijuana is legal under Montana state law. But the Feds busted him anyhow, since growing it is still a federal crime. According to the Missoulian, this is one of the few instances in recent history where no warning was given before a raid on a medical marijuana grower.
To add insult to injury, the crime of “maintaining a drug-involved premises” is a felony, and it’s possible he may get as harsh a penalty as his tenants. He and his tenants have made plea agreements, and the sentencing guidelines imply that Jonathan may receive 30-36 months of jail time (with a maximum of 20 years). This hardly seems fair, but it certainly serves as a cautionary tale about how complicated things can get between tenants and their landlords. Personally, it makes me just a touch more sympathetic (as a renter) to why landlords get so stressed about who rents from them.