Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Medical Marijuana Patients to Lose Their Homes

By Ron Crumpton

Albuquerque, New Mexico – Monarch properties, a property management company that manages nearly 80 apartment complexes, has announced that tenants will be evicted if found with medical marijuana on their properties.

According to Monarch, in order to receive funds from the federal government it must follow federal law, which deems marijuana illegal.

The states medical marijuana program is overseen by the New Mexico Health Department, and they say that Monarch is within their right to employ such a policy.

“The problem is the conflict between state and federal law, so this could happen in any state that has a medical cannabis program,” said Deborah Busemeyer of the New Mexico Department of Health. “We believe it’s for people who have serious medical conditions and they need it to provide relief for what they’re suffering.”

It is unclear at this time how many people the new policy will affect.

Monarch claims that the change has come in response to increased pressure from the federal government to crack down on the use of medical marijuana in federally subsidized housing.

However, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development – who released a statement on Tuesday in response to the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority, who made similar claims – said that this is not the case.

"Local housing authorities have the discretion to evict a tenant for using medical marijuana...they can evict, but they don't have to evict," Department of Housing and Urban Development.

One thing is certain, in state after state; patients continue to lose their jobs and are now being threatened with losing their homes simply because they choose to use the medicine that works best for them.

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