Chicago Housing Authority Relaxes Recreational Marijuana Policy

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CHICAGO — Chicago is still dealing with some hurdles in the new recreational marijuana marketplace.

Now that pot is legal in Illinois, the Chicago Housing Authority has relaxed its hard line approach to the drug.

Most legal customers can buy marijuana at dispensaries, then use it at home. But for those living in subsidized housing that is governed by federal law, cannabis is still criminal.

Last year, CHA sent letters to their 63,000 households warning residents that families could be evicted for cannabis violations.

But under pressure from Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot to take a less heavy-handed approach, the CHA board of commissioners approved a revised policy that provides protections.

The updated policy now says each cannabis complaint would lead to a “consideration of relevant facts on a case-by-case basis”

And that CHA officials would, “work with residents, participants, applicants and landlords to provide information and guidance in their efforts to exercise their rights under local law without jeopardizing their housing under federal law.”

Jeremy Jacobs is the CEO of Enlighten, a company that helps educate the public and cannabis customers about marijuana.

“You’re making a choice: which one of my rights do I want to have? Do I want to have my state’s rights or do I want to have my federal rights?” he said. “You’ve got a situation where the federal subsidy with housing – people that are known medical consumers – and all of a sudden you have these federal regulators that are able to control these people’s housing.”