We have come a long way since the days of Cannabis prohibition. Some states completely legalized Weed, and Many other legalized Medical Marijuana. It's not really a golden age for Cannabis use, but we're getting there and every now and then, along comes that one guy, that one government agency who says "Nope. We're not having it! Out with those potheads!"
It's truly lamentable, but it happens. Such is the case of Maine resident Olanian Jackson, who was evicted because he was a Medical Cannabis user due to a clause in the agreement with The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which states that recipients of Section 8 vouchers, or anyone who lives in public housing can be evicted or denied a home based on marijuana usage, regardless of state and local laws. The eviction was upheld by the State's Supreme Court, but Mr. Jackson have been a victim of harassment ever since, and despite the upholding, he still doesn't have a roof assured.
And it is relevant to make a very important distinction. This is not booze or heroine we're talking about here. There's people who don't smoke weed for the pleasure of it. People suffering from chronic pains, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, crippling depression or anxiety, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, you name it, they need it on a first need basis and denying them housing is adding insult to injury. The Rolling Stone Magazine was quoted, saying:
If you can’t legally use cannabis in your own home, is weed really legal for you?
And they make a pretty good point, the sad truth is, that there's a whole lot of loopholes, amendments and laws that have yet to be revised. Because this laws were made back during iron-fist prohibition, but haven't been updated since then.
But what this all boils down to, is Marijuana's schedule I drug status; a 2014 HUD memo states that “Regardless of the purpose for which legalized under state law, the use of marijuana in any form is illegal under the [Controlled Substances Act] and therefore is an illegal controlled substance.”. The memo also states that landlords are required to deny federally assisted housing to tenants using controlled or federally banned substances; I.E. Weed.
And at this point people might think this all is a nasty conspiracy to kill-off the poor, but in my own experience, I think this is largely due to poverty itself. Justice belongs to those who can afford it and just like that congressman who walked free after being caught doing drugs far worse than weed, this wouldn't happen to a person with money. Truth be told, poverty puts people in very precarious and vulnerable situations, it's a chain reaction; If Mr. Jackson had money none of this would have happened, his disease would've been treated better, so he wouldn't need Cannabis, even if he did he could afford a different home, or could afford a lawyer. My point is, the system is unwittingly rigged to benefit those who have more money and I think it's time we start revising all those old laws made by dinosaurs.
You can read the entire article at hightimes.com:
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