420 with CNW – Medical Marijuana May Soon Be Allowed in Federally Subsidized Housing

December 17, 2018 04:20:29

The New York and New Jersey regional officer of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Lynne Patton, has revealed that there is a need to reconcile state and federal marijuana laws so that individuals who are using medical marijuana in locations where it is legal don’t risk losing federally subsidized housing.

She was reacting to media reports about a 78-year old man (John Flickner) who had been evicted from his apartment in Niagara Falls, New York due to his use of medical cannabis.

Lynne Patton went on to reveal that she was working to get Flickner back into permanent housing once more, as well as helping any other individuals in the same situation.

The good news is that John Flickner received a call from his former landlord asking him to retake his apartment shortly after Flickner’s case appeared in the media. The company owning that block of apartments also revealed that it was reconsidering its policy on medical marijuana. It was not clear whether the Department of Housing and Urban Development played a role in getting Flickner to return to his old apartment.

New York is expanding its medical cannabis program, and plans are underway to legalize recreational marijuana as well. These developments have raised concerns about what will happen to all those people who live in federally subsidized housing and want to use medical or recreational marijuana.

It should be remembered that President Clinton signed a law in 1998 barring landlords from having a tenant (new or existing) who uses an illegal substance, such as cannabis.

However, President Obama’s government wrote a memo in 2014 clarifying that landlords had the liberty to accept or reject (even evict) tenants who consume illegal substances. The eviction of Flickner was therefore done at the discretion of the landlord since there was no legal obligation for that action to be taken.

Good news may be on the way for people in federal housing regarding marijuana. This is because the Department of Housing and Urban Development (as hinted upon by Patton) is working to clear up the policy issues resulting from the difference between state and federal laws. In the meantime, Congress may act on the same issue either sooner or after HUD reconsiders its position formally.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat from DC, introduced a bill that seeks to provide housing safeguards at the federal level for people using either medical or recreational marijuana in legal states.

Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF), Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) and others in the industry are saddened by the fact that an old man (John Flickner) had to undergo the distress of being evicted in order for the housing authorities to see that things need to change.

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