Underlining the role that economic class plays in one’s experience of the cannabis legalization movement, Maine resident Olanian Jackson saw his eviction upheld by the state’s Supreme Court after his landlord discovered that Jackson was using state-legal medical marijuana in his home.
The court’s decision highlights the fact that for anyone who lives in federally subsidized housing, the progress that has been made in state-by-state cannabis legalization in the US is simply not enough to ensure one’s safety. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has made it clear that recipients of Section 8 vouchers, or anyone who lives in public housing can be evicted or denied a home based on marijuana usage, regardless of state and local laws.
The injustice led Rolling Stone to ask “If you can’t legally use cannabis in your own home, is weed really legal for you?” in an article profiling Washington DC resident and fibromyalgia patient Sondra Battle. Battle was shocked when her apartment manager posted a notice informing residents that they would be evicted with no appeal should they be found using marijuana, regardless of whether they had a doctor’s recommendation.
In Jackson’s case, the Supreme Court was able to avoid addressing the