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Housing Memorandum on Marijuana in Multifamily Assisted Properties

Monday, January 05, 2015

“The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) categorizes marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance and therefore the manufacture, distribution, or possession of marijuana is a federal criminal offense. Because the CSA prohibits all forms of marijuana use, the use of "medical marijuana" is illegal under federal law even if it is permitted under state law. With regard to questions concerning the use of marijuana in Multifamily assisted properties in states that have decriminalized the use of marijuana, the controlling authority is Section 577 of the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA), P.L. 105-276 (October 21, 1998), 42 U.S.0 Section 13662.

Owners of federally assisted housing are required by QHWRA to deny admission to any household with a member who the owner determines is, at the time of application for admission, illegally using a controlled substance as that term is defined by the Controlled Substance Act.         

Further, owners may not establish lease provisions or policies that affirmatively permit occupancy by any member of a household who uses marijuana.   Owners must establish policies which allow the termination of tenancy of any household with a member who is illegally using marijuana or whose use interferes with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.”

Read the entire memorandum here: Use of Marijuana in Multifamily Assisted Properties.

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