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Lewiston family facing eviction: Medical marijuana improves quality of life

At the Healy Terrace apartment building, 42-year-old Phil Deschene lives with his 65-year-old mother, Susan. (WGME)

LEWISTON (WGME) – A Lewiston woman and her son, who are both disabled and growing medical marijuana in their home, could be kicked out.

At the Healy Terrace apartment building, 42-year-old Phil Deschene lives with his 65-year-old mother, Susan.

They say they both need to use medical marijuana to handle pain, and they both have medicinal marijuana cards so it's legal to grow.

The problem is, their apartment is a federally subsidized property, and marijuana is not federally legal.

They receive federal government funding because both are considered to be totally disabled.

They say they started growing marijuana because they can't afford all of the medications.

In an inspection on August 23, the landlord found the plants and is evicting them for "cultivating an illegal substance."

CBS 13 went to the landlord, Preservation Management in South Portland.

They directed us to guidance by Housing and Urban Development, which states that known users are supposed to be turned away before renting. Property owners can decide whether existing tenants who start using marijuana can stay or go.

Susan Deschene says they are only trying to improve their quality of life.

"Like we can't get ahead, you know?” Deschene said. “And we'd like to be able to save a little bit each month, so we can get a little something, so we don't have to worry about being judged all of the time. This is for medical, you know? And we're not out there getting high, and to see my son in so much pain."

The Deschenes received an eviction notice earlier this month, and Preservation Management is bringing an eviction case to court after October 1 to force them out of the building.

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