Use of Marijuana in Multifamily Assisted Properties

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a memorandum December 29, 2014 regarding the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The memorandum states that the manufacture, distribution or possession of marijuana is illegal under federal law even if it is permitted under state law for medical or recreational purpose.

Owners of federally assisted housing must deny admission to any household with a member who the owner determines is, at the time of application for admission, illegally using a controlled substance, e.g., marijuana, as defined by the CSA.

In addition, the owner of federally assisted housing or a public housing agency shall establish standards or lease provisions that allow the owner or agency to terminate the tenancy or assistance for any household with a member that is illegally using a controlled substance or if the owner has reasonable cause to believe that the pattern of illegal use interferes with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

While the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA) denies tenancy to any federally assisted property if it is determined at the time of application for admission that the individual is illegally using a controlled substance as defined by the CSA; Section 577 of QHWRA affords owners the discretion to evict or not evict current tenants for their use of marijuana.

The memorandum is available online, in its entirety for more information.


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