According to Marijuana Moment, Rep. Holmes announced the new piece of federal legislation in her home district on Tuesday, alongside members of the cannabis advocacy group DCMJ and Sondra Battle, a D.C. resident who relies on medical marijuana to treat her fibromyalgia, but is restricted from doing so in her government-assisted home.
“Residents like Sondra should not fear eviction from federally-assisted housing simply for using cannabis to treat their medical conditions,” Rep. Holmes wrote in a press release announcing the legislation. “Our bill recognized today’s realities and proven needs. Individuals who live in states where medical and/or recreational marijuana is legal, but live in federally-assisted housing, should have the same access to treatment as their neighbors.”
Today I introduced my bill to allow cannabis use in public housing in DC and states where it’s legal for medical and/or recreational use. I signed the bill with Sondra Battle, a DC resident who lives in Section 8 housing and is prescribed cannabis to treat her fibromyalgia. pic. In a 2014 memo released after Colorado had opened the nation’s first legal recreational marijuana market, HUD officials reiterated their zero tolerance stance on ganja, with threats to “Terminate the tenancy of the household” for in-home pot use. Accordingly, in legal weed states, other forms of cannabis would be allowed on public housing grounds, with residents free to use unobtrusive products like edibles, tinctures, and topicals freely. Like electronic cigarettes, it would be up to management in individual buildings to permit or ban vaporizer usage.
Most importantly, the new legislation would remove the threat of eviction for marijuana users, with potential cannabis violations dealt with like cigarette violations – on a case-by-case basis with warnings and minor penalties from building management.
Across the U.S., access to safe and sanctioned places to consume cannabis has emerged as a hot-button talking point, with every state-level marijuana reform law restricting legal use to owner-approved private property.