Are residents of subsidized housing allowed to smoke marijuana?

Differences in legality on federal and state levels reflected in housing rules.

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Marijuana is clearly legal in Massachusetts, but that doesn’t mean it’s allowed everywhere. You can smoke it, share it, and even grow it at home, but what if your home is an apartment subsidized by federal money?

HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan told 22News pot is still illegal under federal law and thus banned from HUD housing. A policy that could conflict with local housing authorities.

“If the federal government were to come along and say ‘Oh well, you have to do it,’ then we have a direct conflict between what the state is telling us to do and what the federal government is telling us to do,” said Springfield Housing Authority Executive Director William Abrashkin.

The Springfield Housing Authority told 22News they’ll push for their decision board to expand the current tobacco ban to include marijuana during a meeting on Tuesday.


Continuing Coverage: Marijuana News


Unlike federally funded HUD properties, the Agawam Housing Authority is funded by the state so they play by a different set of rules. However, they are tobacco free; anyone who wants to smoke cigarette has to go off the property to do it. They told 22News they’re unclear on if no smoking includes marijuana.

“We already have issues with people smelling cigarette smoke so we will go from the cigarette smoke to the marijuana smoke on top of it so, yeah, it probably wouldn’t go very well,” said Sarah Bray, the Agawam Housing Authority Wait List Coordinator.

Carole Tokarzcyk, a smoker herself, lives in a housing authority apartment and told 22News she thinks pot should be banned. “I’m totally against it because in subsidized housing you have a lot of people who are handicapped. A lot of people are on medications. That is not a good mixture.”

HUD Housing told 22News they don’t make exceptions for people prescribed medical marijuana. The Springfield Housing Authority told 22News they would take medical needs on a case by case basis.