How Federal Housing Policy Excludes Poor People From Legal Pot

Sondra Battle was fed up. Every time something needed to be repaired in the Washington D.C. grandmother’s federally-subsidized apartment, it seemed to take an ungodly number of phone calls to make it happen. The mold was the last straw. Last spring, after she says her resident manager refused to send anyone to remove the black mold covering the wall behind her kitchen cabinets, Battle began tweeting and issuing formal complaints to anyone that would listen: local activists, public agencies, the mayor’s office.

Within days, a manager took action, only not the kind she was expecting: suddenly, there was a notice put up in the building announcing that any resident found to be using marijuana, whether medical or otherwise, could be evicted with no chance for appeal.

Battle was shocked. Everyone in the building knew that she used cannabis instead of opioids to treat the chronic pain associated with her fibromyalgia.


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