A bill that would permit the use of medical marijuana by residents of public housing in states with legal medicinal cannabis programs was introduced in Congress last week. The measure, the Marijuana in Federally Assisted Housing Parity Act of 2019, was introduced on Thursday by Democratic Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a nonvoting delegate from the District of Columbia.

Under current federal regulations, those who use drugs that are illegal under federal law, including cannabis used medicinally, are ineligible for federal public housing assistance. Landlords are also permitted under federal law to evict residents for using cannabis or other drugs. Norton said that the law should be changed for those residents of public housing who are using cannabis medicinally in accordance with state law.

“Individuals living in federally funded housing should not fear eviction simply for treating their medical conditions or for seeking a substance legal in their state,” Norton said

Norton noted that for the past several years, Congress has prohibited the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prevent jurisdictions from implementing their medical marijuana laws. The Marijuana in Federally Assisted Housing Parity Act would extend similar protection to individuals who use marijuana in federally assisted housing in

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