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Butler Redevelopment Authority bans medical marijuana users from rental units

July 12, 2018 Digital Media Exclusive

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Authority board members Thursday unanimously voted to approve a lease addendum to tenant leases banning federally prohibited drugs and smoking in authority's rental housing.

Medical marijuana and people who use it are prohibited from renting any of the Butler Redevelopment Authority's 12 federally subsidized housing units.

Authority board members Thursday unanimously voted to approve a lease addendum to tenant leases banning federally prohibited drugs and smoking, and prohibiting people who use medical marijuana from the authority's rental housing in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines.

The new rules effect 12 people living in authority rental units, said Veronica Walker, acting authority executive director.

Solicitor Tom Breth said he researched the matter out of concern that people with disabilities who use medical marijuana could challenge the rule in court and discovered they cannot.

“Medical marijuana is not recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Breth said.

He looked into the matter after Walker told the board at last month's meeting that HUD recommended the authority adopt a policy stating that medical marijuana remains illegal under federal law and using it in HUD subsidized rental property is not permitted even though the state has legalized it.

The rules effect existing tenants and people applying to rent units, said Fred Reese, authority chairman.

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