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Evicted For Medical Marijuana

August 9, 2010

Medical Marijuana
Image by Troy Holden via Flickr

 Aug 9, 2010/Reporter: John Lund

A local woman is being evicted from her home for using a totally legal product- medical marijuana. Her problem- the conflict between state and federal laws when it comes to defining illegal drugs.

Shannon Sterner is being evicted

“I have no idea where i’m going to go,” Sterner said.

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// ]]>The reason: “use of illegal drugs.” But her “illegal drugs” are medical marijuana.

“I was using medical marijuana and there was an annonymous complaint filed by one of my neighbors that they smelled marijuana,” Sterner said. “When I got my lease violation, I went up to the front office immiediately and told them of my medical marijuana card and told them i wasn’t trying to violate any laws. They said that was okay as long as i didn’t use on the property.”

But the fact that pot still existed in the home made it against federal law.

Gary Offenbacher, vice president of Continental Management, who owns Sterner’s apartment complex, said because the apartment is federally subsidized, they must follow federal laws- and in the eyes of the federal government, marijuana, no matter if it’s used medicinally or recreationally, is illegal.

“The federal government and [Pres. Barack] Obama himself need to take into consideration that it is legal and that for people like me who live in HUD housing and struggle to get by, it’s is an added burden,” Sterner said.

Sterner has been sick over the past four years and says the marijuana is has reduced the amount of other medications she takes.

“I was inside of my state law,” Sterner said. “I’m allowed to possess two and a half ounces. I have a caregiver named for me so i cannot possess plants. He does all my growing and cultivating for me. I had everything in a locked box. I was doing everything i was supposed to be doing.”

Sterner said she plans to stay in her apartment until she’s physically removed or has the money to go elsewhere.

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