Disabled Medical Marijuana Users Face Eviction From Federal Housing

The Denver Post reports today on the sad cases of some disabled medical marijuana users, including one with MS, who are being evicted from federally subsidized housing due to regulations that prohibit illegal use of controlled substances. Under federal law, all marijuana use is illegal, even in states that allow it.

Even with the state's OK to use medical marijuana, people such as Hewitt can't live in federal housing or receive federal subsidies for rent under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Housing Choice Voucher Program.


The federal government won't help the disabled who benefit from medical marijuana. Even though they are bringing the cost of medical care down by needing fewer doctor visits and fewer prescription drugs that Medicaid would be paying for.

Sounds like it's time to pass a Medical Marijuana Protection Act like the one Barney Frank has introduced the past few years, with a provision that no federal benefits may be denied to persons who lawfully possess and use marijuana under state law.

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    cruel and unusual punishment (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:08:58 AM EST
    clearly.  in this economy, sure, disabled medical MJ users can easily find affordable housing.


    I would be interested to know if (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:09:21 AM EST
    Hewitt's cardiologist agrees Hewitt should smoke marijuana.

    Nobody knows what works for Hewitt (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:39:09 AM EST
    better than Hewitt...I don't see what his cardiologist has to do with it.

    I know what the pharmacuetical companies would rather he do...suffer needlessly.


    I don't imagine... (none / 0) (#6)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:39:39 AM EST
    ...if you were suffering from MS you'd really care about what a cardiologist thinks.  Especially since the disease isn't a clear factor in cardiac/circulatory disease, being a neurological attacking condition.  

    The person with MS can suffer almost any neurological symptom or sign, including changes in sensation (hypoesthesia and paraesthesia), muscle weakness, muscle spasms, or difficulty in moving;[24] difficulties with coordination and balance (ataxia);[24] problems in speech (dysarthria) or swallowing (dysphagia),[25] visual problems (nystagmus, optic neuritis, or diplopia),[26] fatigue, acute or chronic pain,[27][28] and bladder and bowel difficulties.[28][29] Cognitive impairment of varying degrees and emotional symptoms of depression or unstable mood are also common.[30][31] The main clinical measure of disability progression and symptom severity is the Expanded Disability Status Scale or EDSS.[32]



    Perhaps my comment should have read: (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:49:07 AM EST
    I would be interested to know if Hewitt's treating physicians approve of Hewitt's smoking MJ. Not from a moral/criminal law standpoint.  From the standpoint of whether smoking MJ may, in fact, be harmful to him, in his present condition.  

    I don't think he's worried... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:54:18 AM EST
    about harm so much as relief.

    Either way, the proof is in the pudding, Hewitt says he feels better on reefer than on the cornucopia of pharmacueticals and I have no reason to doubt it, makes sense to me...though hardcore drug warriors might say he's just using his disease as an excuse so he can get stoned.


    Maybe his Dr's... (none / 0) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:57:31 AM EST
    ...are of the opinion that smoking MJ may, in fact, be helpful to him in his condition.  Could well be that they were the very ones who certified his need for medical marijuana in the first place.  

    Hence, my question. That is what I'd (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:00:05 PM EST
    be interested in knowing.

    I can't imagine it could be worse (none / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:00:22 PM EST
    for him than the combo of pills he gave up.

    He doesn't have to smoke it (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jen M on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:50:15 PM EST
    There are other ways to take it

    Shameful... (none / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:28:01 AM EST
    ...absolutely shameful.  First we're forcing mentally ill people out of treatment facilities due to the budget crisis and now forcing people with conditions like MS out of their homes because they seek relief from their disease?  

    If a society is judged by the way it treats the lesser of its citizens, we are failing badly.  


    I say again... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:37:01 AM EST
    the law can be uncommonly dumb dumb dumb.

    I don't know medical records (none / 0) (#13)
    by diogenes on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:00:36 PM EST
    The post doesn't mention whether this guy failed a trial of cannibinoids in the form of a legally prescribed tablet (Marinol) or simply went straight to inhaled cannibinoids (smoking pot).

    by your reasoning... (none / 0) (#15)
    by diogenes on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 07:48:45 AM EST
    It doesn't matter if kids with attention deficit disorder take ritalin pills or crush them up and snort them.

    i've prescribed marinol (none / 0) (#19)
    by diogenes on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 08:35:13 PM EST
    Can you say as much?  The non-druggies with digestive problems who hated that they had to resort to pot for relief like it fine.  The people with  histories of enjoying recreational drugs say that marinol is foul stuff which gives them side effects.

    Little confused as to what the problem is here (none / 0) (#16)
    by Honyocker on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 08:58:16 AM EST
    HUD is a Big Government cabinet level agency in the Obama administration that oversees government run housing (which is of course, vastly preferable to private sector housing) and which exercises significant authority over the day to day lives of its subjects...in other words HUD is ideal model for the implementation of a national health plan.  So rather than criticize HUD for deciding what is in the best interest of its sick and disabled subjects (kicking them to the curb for breaking federal law, which must be right and just, since government knows what's best) progressives should be basking in the glow of the amazing wisdom of our betters as they exercise the majesty of state authority over the proletariat.      

    Very legit concern... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 09:49:32 AM EST
    about a government run insurance plan..ya can't put it passed the feds to make a drug test mandatory and deny claims for illegal drug users.  If they'll kick you out of public housing, deny you financial aid, sh*t lock you up...they'll kick you off the govt. insurance roll without batting an eye.