In Light of Legalization, Chicago Housing Authority Revises Policy on Cannabis Use

The board of commissioners of the Chicago Housing Authority voted on Tuesday to approve a new policy to help protect residents from being evicted for using cannabis. The board’s action revises an announcement from the agency last year that warned to end assistance for those found in possession of pot despite the legalization of marijuana in Illinois.

Under the newly revised policy, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) says that it plans to “work with residents, participants, applicants, and landlords to provide information and guidance in their efforts to exercise their rights under local law without jeopardizing their housing under federal law.”

Despite the legalization of cannabis that went into effect in Illinois on January 1, marijuana continues to be illegal under federal law. That contradiction led the CHA, which receives funding from the federal government, to announce that cannabis would not be acceptable in public housing once marijuana became legal at the state level. In a letter sent to the 63,000 households managed by the agency in November, residents were warned that any marijuana possession or use was grounds for eviction.

“The CHA can TERMINATE all assistance … if you, a member of your household, or a guest or person

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