Illinois Will Ban Cannabis Use in Public Housing, Regardless of Legalization

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The federal government bans all cannabis use in public housing. Even healthcare marijuana use can be grounds for eviction from these properties, placing a lot of MMJ sufferers at threat of losing their residences.

Beginning subsequent January, each adult in the state of Illinois will be legally permitted to invest in, possess, and use cannabis to their heart’s content material. But residents of public housing will be largely left out of this pleased image, as federal law continues to reign more than all housing projects that rely on government funding.

Final week, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) sent a memo to all 63,000 households below its jurisdiction reminding residents that cannabis use remains prohibited below federal law. “The CHA can TERMINATE all help … if you, a member of your household, or a guest or individual below your manage is discovered engaging in drug-connected criminal activity, which includes the use and/or possession of marijuana for healthcare or recreational purposes,” the notice study, according to the Chicago Sun-Occasions.

In a statement, the CHA explained that “as a federally-funded agency, [it] is governed by all federal laws.” The concern is not one of a kind to Illinois – most states’ public housing relies partially or totally on federal funding, and the feds can revoke this funding if they find out that tenants are applying controlled substances inside these residences. As a outcome, landlords will opt for to evict tenants who are caught applying cannabis, rather than threat their entire constructing getting shut down.

“Residents who reside in subsidized housing do not have the very same rights as the rest of us do,” stated Kate Walz, vice president of advocacy at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, to the Sun-Occasions. “They cannot consume marijuana in their residence even although the state legalized it or they’ll shed their housing subsidy. And the majority of people today who reside in federally assisted housing in Illinois are people today of colour, so it is developing a racial equity concern in the state.”

Gallery — We Have to have Federal Legalization ASAP!

Out of the roughly 5 million public housing residents in the US, about one particular quarter are disabled and about a third are elderly. A lot of of these sufferers are eligible to use healthcare marijuana to assist deal with symptoms of disability or ill overall health, but the ban on pot in public housing extends even to healthcare marijuana. In upstate New York, a 78-year-old man was lately forced to relocate to a homeless shelter just after getting evicted more than his healthcare cannabis use.

“Marijuana is in some cases the only factor that ameliorates someone’s disability for the reason that they’re allergic to particular sorts of medication,” stated Mary Rosenberg, employees lawyer at Access Living, to the Sun-Occasions. “It’s unfair not to enable these people to use it basically for the reason that they’re poor and reside in subsidized housing.”

Final year, Washington D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes proposed a new bill that would overturn the federal government’s ban on cannabis use in public residences, enabling states to establish their personal laws regarding legal pot use. The bill failed to pass final year, but was reintroduced once more this year. 

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