Thursday, October 4, 2012
Marijuana: Medicine for Maine; Still a Federal Crime
I have talked before about Maine's progressive medical marijuana law, about the recently proposed changes to the medical marijuana law and about the impact that drug use can have on federal rights especially the right to posses firearms.
Well, this article in the Bangor Daily News discusses new Maine Housing Authority regulations that will force Medical Marijuana users out of Section 8 housing. The problem is that, even though medical marijuana is legal in Maine, it is illegal under federal law. Since section 8 is a federal housing subsidy, you can't get it if you violate federal drug laws.
It seems extremely likely that we are going to see other issues crop up: medical marijuana users charged with federal firearms violations for hunting, or problems with federal student aid for Marijuana patients. These are strange times. States are progressing in an understanding of Marijuana as a substance that should be regulated, not prohibited. Federal authorities still have a 1920s mentality and the rigidity is creating some difficult tensions. I am sure we will see some challenging cases of defendants caught in the crossfire.