AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Some medical marijuana users in Maine who receive federal housing assistance were recently informed they had to give up the pot or their funding.
But they are now getting a reprieve as commissioners with the Maine State Housing Authority take some time to study the policy. Commissioners today approved a 6-month moratorium on withholding funding from anyone found with medical marijuana in their units.
Since the Maine State Housing Authority distributes federal housing assistance, commissioners are concerned about losing that funding.
Not just for medical marijuana users but for many others who also get federal dollars.
"It would be irresponsible and imprudent if this board did not ensure we are not jeopardizing our ability to help those people", commissioner Bruce Poliquin told other board members.
An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union says the threat of losing federal funds is not a real one, because Housing and Urban Development will allow Maine State Housing to set it's own policy.
"Our job today was to try to encourage them to walk through that door that the federal government opened and they still seemed really reluctant to do that", said ACLU's Alysia Melnick.
What the commissioners did do was to hold off taking any action for 6-months.They hope that will give them enough time to clarify just what is acceptable to the federal government.