Chicago Housing Authority’s Pot Ban Means No Legal Cannabis Mechanism For The Poor

While marijuana arrests are certainly down in Chicago, questions have arisen about whether a new ban on using soon-to-be legal marijuana in public housing ends up being a continuation of old drug war policies in the communities already hit the hardest.

In the beginning of November, The Chicago Housing Authority sent out a letter to 60,000 tenants. The Chicago Sun-Times reported in that letter the CHA let it’s residents know despite the change in law coming to the state of Illinois, marijuana is still illegal under federal law and will be treated as such. This warning applied to both recreational and medical use. 

The CHA noted the policy was dictated by the fact they are a federally funded entity. In accordance, they’ve used federal housing guidelines around Section 8 assistance, with a dash of local interpretation built into the guidelines, to establish a one-strike policy to evict people over a single marijuana possession offense. 

The Chicago Reporter reported on the tale of Jessica Moore. In 2009 19 officers ripped her apartment to pieces finding her son’s $48 worth of pot.  Her son was now a part of the statistics of Chicago’s most rapidly gentrified neighborhoods of the 2000s, the 2nd

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