Government Aid And Cannabis Use In Legal States
This past week a lady who is part of congress has reintroduced a bill that protects those who use marijuana that live on government assistance. The bill would act as a protective measure so the housing can’t be taken away from using marijuana. Currently, those living in government housing are not allowed to use drugs as part of the program. Even if state law permits the use of some controlled substances. As well landlords and property owners reserve the right to evict those who do so. However, this new bill would change all of that. This new bill would offer security to those who live in some form of public or Section 8 housing and use legal marijuana.
“Individuals living in federally assisted housing should not be denied admission, or fear eviction, for using a legal product,” Norton said on Thursday. “Adult use and/or medical marijuana is currently legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia, and over 90 percent of Americans support legalized medical marijuana.”
The legislation would also need the leader of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to establish ordinances that regulate smoking marijuana at these homes similar to the way that tobacco is managed.
“HUD, like DOJ, should not be allowed to enforce federal marijuana laws where states have taken action to legalize marijuana,”
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton stated, relating to a congressionally approved amendment that restricts the Department of Justice from intervening with state medical cannabis laws. Norton filed previous versions of the Marijuana in Federally Assisted Housing Parity Act in 2018 and 2019. Yet there were no hearings or votes made.
Government Aid Shouldn’t Be Blocked By Legal Cannabis Use
About 3 years ago a member of Trump’s political team mentioned that she was working to solve the issue between federal and state marijuana laws. Especially laws that apply to residency in federally-subsidized housing. However, it’s not clear what came of that work. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also another political figure mentioned the topic during a committee hearing in 2019. She was pressing former HUD Secretary Ben Carson on certain policies. The main one being the cause of public housing residents being evicted for committing low-level offenses such as marijuana possession.
She pointed to two specific HUD policies: the “one strike” rule, which allows property managers to evict people living in federally assisted housing if they engage in illicit drug use or other crimes, and the “no fault” rule, which stipulates that public housing residents can be evicted due to illicit drug use by other members of their household. Even if the resident was unaware of the activity.
Ocasio-Cortez and then-Sen. Kamala Harris as well filed legislation that year. This bill would aim to secure those with low-level drug convictions from being denied access to or being evicted from public housing. As well Sen. Jeff Merkley proposed an affordable housing bill back in 2020. His measure included a plan to stop landlords from evicting people over manufacturing marijuana extracts. But only if they have a license to do so.
Final Thoughts On Cannabis Use And Government Assitance
Although the marijuana stocks may be down the cannabis industry overall is still moving up. Not just with business and operations but with legislation as well. Just because federal reform has not been passed yet does not mean other cannabis-related legislation isn’t a win. In 2021 more states are working on going legal as state legislators are working to do so. So with more states going legal beyond just adding more monetary value to the market, other areas need protections as well. This is what makes
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton reintroducing her measure so important to legal states and their communities. No one should be punished or left without government assistance in a state where it’s legal to use cannabis. People in legal states should be able to acquire this type of help without judgment or restrictions. So if this bill can pass it will be a big win for the cannabis industry and state-level reform. This year the cannabis industry has shown a great amount of growth. As the sector continues to progress the hope is to eventually see nationwide reform one day.
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