The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published a paper with new restrictions for legal cannabis in public housing. The document bans smoking marijuana, growing it on site or selling the drug within 1,000 feet of buildings that are part of HUD’s nationwide program.
The “HUD housing authority” is a government department that provides funding and support to public housing projects. In a recent statement, the HUD said that they are not going to allow legal cannabis in their public housing projects.
The majority of individuals who live on the streets or are addicted to drugs need stability and purpose. They don’t need the government to tell them what they can and can’t eat.
A Congresswoman recently wrote to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, urging them to allow those who use cannabis to live in public housing, particularly in places where it is legal.
The congressman who issued the letter, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, believes that by doing so, those seeking public housing would be able to enjoy a legal item in their state while still being protected from the weather. Unfortunately, a Biden appointment, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, reacted in a letter that Norton made public.
Unfortunately for those seeking public housing, the Biden Administration seems to be going full “Soup Nazi” on the cannabis issue, despite claims that they are trying to amend cannabis laws.
Even if it is for medicinal cannabis, the Department of Housing and Urban Development refuses to admit anybody who uses marijuana to assisted living facilities.
The difficulty with this approach is that it seems to directly contradict all of the Biden Administration’s purported “promises” and appears to maintain the status quo. Of course, others would argue, “Well, it’s the law!”
However, in the present political atmosphere, it is an explanation that will not get you very far. There is no scientific proof that cannabis has any effect on a user’s moral character, and denying assisted living solely because of usage seems to be at best arbitrary. Nonetheless, let us examine the letter released by Norton in further detail.
Understanding the Letter’s Spirit
The HUD cited the following legislation as the cause for their “inability” to comply:
(1) A public housing agency or a federally supported housing owner, as determined by the Secretary, must set rules prohibiting admission to the program or entrance to federally assisted housing for any family with a member—
- who, in the opinion of the public housing agency or owner, is abusing a restricted drug.”
In other words, they can’t do anything since cannabis is a legally illegal substance. They claim that they do not have the “discretion” to accept marijuana users, even those who use it for medicinal reasons, until the legislation changes.
Norton voiced her dissatisfaction with the reaction, saying:
“Americans’ attitudes on marijuana usage are changing all the time, with support steadily rising. This statement demonstrates even more why Congress should pass my measure, which would allow marijuana usage in federally subsidized housing while adhering to state law.”
Activists are also upset that the federal government is relying on a seven-year-old legislation that is more of a “guideline” than “rules.” NORML’s political director, Justin Strekel, had the following to say about the situation:
“It’s a shame that the Biden administration would put procedure above people when it comes to a basic necessity like housing for cannabis users,” said Justin Strekal, NORML’s political director, to Marijuana Moment. “With millions of registered medicinal marijuana users around the nation, a disproportionate number of whom are veterans, action must be made to protect our fellow citizens’ dignity.”
Substance prohibition in public housing is counterproductive.
The prohibition is intended to discourage individuals from consuming drugs. People that live on the streets, on the other hand, are usually addicted to something. As you can see in California, many individuals refuse to live in public housing due to drug prohibitions and curfews.
People who are in need and live on the streets are more likely to use illegal substances. Banning individuals from public housing does not make them stop taking drugs, whether it’s to deal with the pain of living on the streets or as a kind of self-medication. It merely makes their lives more difficult.
“Are we really going to pay for folks who take drugs and live in public housing?” some of you may wonder. “YES!” I would say in response.
It makes no difference whether someone uses drugs or not. The majority of persons who live on the streets do so for a variety of reasons:
- A series of tragic incidents has occurred.
- Illness of the mind
- Lack of support from friends and family
I know because I spent six months in a van in California, hanging out with and getting to know the homeless. They don’t so much need to be “rescued from drugs” as they need a “leg up.”
A few years ago, there was a heroin epidemic in Switzerland. Their idea was to set up free clinics where addicts could get their medications without any strings attached. They were able to get public housing and were never pressured to leave or into any form of program.
Some speculated that this would encourage more drug use, but the truth is that it had the opposite effect. Fewer individuals began using heroin, and the average addict’s age grew to the mid-thirties. To put it another way, new addicts ceased to appear up.
What is the reason behind this? Because the majority of individuals who live on the streets or are addicted to drugs need stability and direction. They don’t need the government to tell them what they can and can’t eat. If given the option to chose a better life, nine out of ten individuals would choose to persevere and create something of their lives.
Why? People don’t use heroin because they “want” to; they do it because they are addicted and have no other option.
Of course, cannabis isn’t the same as heroin, but that’s beside the point. When compared to other substances on the market, marijuana is so innocuous that denying people public housing is just a proclamation of how out of touch you are with contemporary society.
I’m trying not to be too harsh on the Biden administration, but they’re really creating their own coffin at this point. The Democrats seem to have lost touch with the American people.