Norton Reintroduces Bill to Legalize Marijuana in Public Housing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) reintroduced her Marijuana in Federally Assisted Housing Parity Act, which would permit the use of marijuana in federally assisted housing, including public housing and Section 8 housing, in compliance with the marijuana laws of the state where the property is located. Under current federal law, the users of drugs that are illegal under federal law, including marijuana, are prohibited from being admitted into federally assisted housing. Federal law also allows landlords to evict residents of federally assisted housing for illegal drug use. Norton says that individuals living in federally assisted housing should not be denied admission, or fear eviction, for using a product legal in their state. Both adult use and medical use of marijuana are legal in D.C. and 34 states, and over 90 percent of Americans support legalized medical marijuana.
“Individuals living in federally funded housing should not fear eviction simply for treating their medical conditions or using a substance legal under state law,” Norton said. “Increasingly, Americans are changing their views on marijuana, and it is time that Congress caught up with its own constituents. With so many states improving their laws, this issue should have broad bipartisan appeal because it protects states’ rights.”
For the last several years, Congress has prohibited the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prevent jurisdictions from implementing their medical marijuana laws. This bill would similarly allow individuals to use marijuana in federally assisted housing in compliance with state marijuana laws and would require the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to develop regulations that restrict smoking marijuana in federally assisted housing in the same manner and to the same locations as the Secretary restricts smoking tobacco.