Medical Marijuana Banned From All Section 8 Housing in Maine
The Maine State Housing Authority board voted 4-3 earlier this week to ban medical marijuana from Section 8 housing in the state. This means medical marijuana patients in the Section 8 program are going to have to choose one or the other.
"We took a very firm stand," said Bruce Poliquin, who serves as the Maine State Treasurer and a member of the Maine Housing Authority's board of directors. "There will be no growing of marijuana in these apartments. No cultivating of the substance. And we restricted the smoking of the substance in those apartments."
A firm stand? Against sick people who would rather use marijuana than some deadly and addictive prescription drug? That’s some stand.
"We want to make sure that we respect everybody who needs medical attention and are legally using medicinal marijuana for treatment of their ailments," Poliquin said. "At the same time we have roughly 3200 of these Section 8 apartments around the state of Maine. There are probably 5000 individuals that live in those 32 apartments, including children. We have to make sure those apartment buildings and those apartments are safe for everybody who lives in the buildings."
But State Representative Deb Sanderson, a Chelsea Republican, disagrees with Poliquin. Sanderson says there are simply no facts to back up the notion that medical marijuana breeds unsavory activity. "Though I understand Treasurer Poliquin's concern, there is no evidence that allowing patients to access medical marijuana as directed by their physician has increased crime in any way in Maine, nor has it caused a safety concern," Sanderson said. However, Sanderson argues, there is mounting evidence that the alternative medication that these patients will be forced to use does cause crime rates to not only rise, but skyrocket. "If these patients are forced to abandon using a natural form of medication and transition to pharmaceuticals, ie narcotic pain relievers, we do have evidence of a rising problem with long term pain management and addiction to opioids. Almost weekly, another break-in or pharmacy robbery is reported."
MA Senate Candidates on Medical Marijuana
This November Democrat Jamie Eldrige is running against Republican Dean Cavaretta for a seat in the Massachusetts State Senate and they were both recently asked about Question 3, a ballot measure that would legalize medical cannabis in the state.
“I support Question 3,” Eldrige said, “which would allow doctors to consider the full range of medical treatments, including medical marijuana, for patients suffering from debilitating illnesses. I've spoken with constituents who have watched loved ones struggle with pain while fighting diseases like cancer. Passing this referendum is the compassionate thing to do.”
While not as supportive, even the GOP candidate agreed medical marijuana had a purpose.
“This is an issue where I would abide by the will of the Massachusetts voters,” he said. “I personally believe, with proper controls, there is probably a place for the medical use of marijuana.”
Medical marijuana is a very popular issue with voters these days, routinely polling 70%+ across the country, even in some conservative states. It’s hard to look voters in the face and tell them that sick people cannot have the option of medical marijuana to treat their illness.
Granted, some politicians have that gift, like Mitt Romney. He is seen in a popular video on the internet telling a man in a wheelchair that he does not support medical marijuana.
But politicians like Mitt Romney are a dying breed. Medical marijuana will be nationwide someday, helping tens of millions of patients.
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