WASHINGTON - The new marijuana law in D.C. allows people to smoke pot in their home. Now, a judge is telling one man he can't smoke anything inside of his house - especially not cigarettes. If he does, the homeowner said the judge told him he could end up in jail.
Edwin Gray smoked a cigarette outside of his house in the 800 block of Fifth Street in the northeast while he spoke with FOX 5's Bob Barnard.
Gray told Barnard that at first he was told to find a designated area inside the house to smoke in. When neighbors claimed they could smell smoke, Gray said he was back in court, and told to stop smoking inside altogether.
Gray said he took issue with the judge in the case. He said a family member asked the judge to step down. He said he was also left with unanswered questions, like, what if he is smoking outside and the neighbors claim smoke enters through their windows?
Gray says the house has been in his family since the 1960s and that the issues began when new neighbors moved into the renovated home next door. The new neighbors claim that Gray's secondhand smoke is getting into their home. They said they have a child and another one on the way.
The homeowners, one of which is an environmental lawyer, claim there are holes in the basement wall of Gray's home and that's how the smoke is getting inside.
Gray says if they insulated their wall the problem would be eliminated.
When asked what penalty he would face if he were found smoking in his home, Gray said the judge told him he would be arrested.
"She said she would have the marshals come and get me, bring me down, fine me and lock me in jail. I have never been to jail a day in my life. Now I'll go to jail because I'm smoking cigarettes in my own house?" Gray said.
And this is America? My rights…anybody's rights. It's not just because of me, or black and white. It's your right that you can't sit in your house and smoke cigarettes. Now, they just passed a law you can smoke marijuana in your house. Okay. So everybody need to wake up and see this," Gray continued.
Gray said they are appealing the ruling.