Handicapped New Mexico Woman Faces Eviction for Medical Marijuana Use

A handicapped woman says she was told to move from her Silver City apartment when the landlord discovered she has marijuana for medical use.

Bobbie Wooten contends a management representative for Silver Cliffs apartments did a surprise inspection Tuesday and spotted two marijuana plants she has for medical use under a state license. She said the representative returned a short time later with a notice that she had three days to move.

A spokesman for the Arizona realty company that manages the complex said the eviction is within the terms of the lease, but declined further comment.

"My lease provides for a drug-free environment," said David Kotin of Kay-Kay Realty. "Obviously, she is in violation of my lease."

Wooten uses a wheelchair because she was paralyzed from the waist down in a car crash several years ago and suffers severe spasms.

She joined the state's medical marijuana program when it went into effect last year.

State Health Department spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer said patients' names are kept confidential. However, she said people in the program can possess up to four mature plants, 12 seedlings and up to six ounces — enough marijuana for a three-month supply.

"We have never had a case like this where someone was told to move out," Busemeyer said.

Wooten said she's never tried to hide the plants, but that under state and federal law she's not required to tell anyone what kind of prescription medication she takes.

"People like me who have to use this are being discriminated against," Wooten said. "I am doing this lawfully, not sneaking around the dark alleys looking for a drug dealer."