Medical marijuana patients who live in public housing may finally catch a break under a new measure.
The bill, titled “Marijuana in Federally Assisted Housing Parity Act of 2019,” would exempt medical weed patients from the federal government’s ban on illegal drugs in public housing. The exemption only works in states that already legalized medical marijuana, and only for patients who follow state regulations (so setting up a sea-of-green in one of Uncle Sam’s efficiencies is probably out of the question).
“Individuals living in federally funded housing should not fear eviction simply for treating their medical conditions or for seeking a substance legal in their state,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), according to a press release.
Although the measure’s introduction signals good news for those living in public housing, it may encounter some roadblocks as it moves forward. Because the feds provide funding to private landlords under Section 8 and other public housing programs, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gets to write any new regulations according to the bill’s language.
The current Secretary of HUD is Dr. Ben Carson. Carson, a staunch conservative evangelist, recently criticized the War on Drugs for disproportionately targeting impoverished black Americans.
However, during the 2016 presidential election, Carson also promised to “intensify” the drug war if he became president. On Fox News, he once stated that legalization is “gradually removing the barriers toward hedonistic activity,” and believed “marijuana is a gateway drug” that leads to harder drug use.
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