Marijuana has been illegal at the federal level for quite a while. It is the world’s most used drug, and over the years, a lot of people have found themselves facing marijuana-related charges. However, more and more states have legalized marijuana in various capacities, and this throws into question how to treat people with marijuana-related convictions.
Some are of the opinion that their records should be expunged and that individuals currently serving time for marijuana-related convictions have their rulings overturned. Most legal marijuana programs use part of the tax revenue from sales to address this, but there’s still a long way to go. Still, there’s a lot of stigma, even in states that have legalized marijuana. This has been especially felt in the insurance and banking sectors, although things are definitely better now.
Recently, Sen. Jeff Merkley filed a Congressional bill with a provision that would prevent landlords from evicting people over manufacturing marijuana extracts if they have a valid license. The legislation contains a list of ‘just causes for eviction’ which includes the ‘manufacture of a cannabinoid extract unless the tenant holds a license to manufacture the cannabinoid extract under federal, state or tribal law.
This is where things get a little confusing, though, as cannabis is still considered illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The bill contains a provision that states that ‘the unlawful manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance’ is grounds for eviction but it does not exempt state-legal activity, such as cannabinoid extractors with valid licenses.
Due to the discrepancy in state and federal law, cannabis-related cases might be handled quite differently. Most eviction cases, however, are handled at the state level, so some courts might defer to state law in favor of licensed cannabinoid extractors instead of federal laws.
The provision for cannabinoid extractors is part of a housing bill designed to “address the shortcomings of our current housing policies and funding levels by holistically addressing disparities and systematic obstacles and ensuring an equitable outcome for the most vulnerable American.”
It comes a year after Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Kamala Harris filed a housing bill that would protect people with low-level drug convictions from being denied access to or being evicted from public housing. She said in a statement that “denial of basic necessities to formerly incarcerated people does not make our communities safer,” adding that the bill is one of the many steps that need to be taken to repair our broken criminal justice system.
Experts don’t think that industry actors like Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQX: PLPRF) are excited by this bill since previous proposed legislation along the same lines hasn’t registered success, especially in the Senate.
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