Marijuana banned from Chicago public housing despite legalization taking effect January

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Thursday, November 7, 2019
Marijuana plant
A marijuana plant at Compassionate Care Foundation's medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez-AP

CHICAGO -- Public housing residents in Chicago are being told they can't smoke marijuana at home, even as pot turns legal in Illinois on Jan. 1.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Chicago Housing Authority began sending notices last week. The agency says it can terminate public aid if anyone is using marijuana for recreational or medical purposes on CHA property.

RELATED: Illinois marijuana law aims to undo harm of war on the drug

CHA says marijuana is illegal under federal law and that it must follow the law to get federal money. Medical marijuana cards have been available in Illinois since 2014.

Kate Walz of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law says people in public housing "don't have the same rights as the rest of us do."

Jacqueline Reynolds says she'll keep sparking a joint. The 67-year-old says marijuana keeps her off blood pressure medication.


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