Robert Jones’ litany of tribulations is almost biblical—which lends a precise irony to recent news that he’ll be kicked out of his house a month before Christmas.
Jones, a cancer patient and member of the state’s medical cannabis program, has been dumped by a cannabis producer for talking to the media, and has lost his pot plants twice. Now, the San Miguel County’s Section 8 Housing Authority wants him out by Nov. 30, even though it approved him for HUD (US Housing and Urban Development) assistance knowing that he was in the medical marijuana program.
Since HUD is a federal agency, spokeswoman Donna White tells SFR, its stance on marijuana is that it’s illegal.
But HUD’s only opinion on the issue is a 1999 memo delegating to local housing authorities the discretion to decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether residents can use marijuana.
They can’t at the Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority.
“We make no exceptions for the medical marijuana law,” Executive Director Ed Romero tells SFR. But Romero says the issue has never come up since SFCHA has a clear and consistent position. As for HUD’s plans to clarify its stance as medical cannabis programs expand around the country, White says she “wasn’t aware” of any.