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Posted at 4:12 PM ET, 04/20/2010

D.C. Council approves medical marijuana

By Washington Post editors


The D.C. Council unanimously approved a bill Tuesday to allow chronically ill patients to receive a doctor's prescription to use marijuana and buy it from a city-sanctioned distribution center.

Under the bill, which passed without debate, a patient who suffers from HIV, glaucoma, cancer or a "chronic and lasting disease" may receive a doctor's recommendation to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana in a 30-day period.

The patient would not be allowed to grow their own marijuana, but between five and eight pot distribution centers would be established in the city.

Those distribution centers would receive marijuana from privately run cultivation centers, where up to 95 marijuana plants could be grown at a given time. The distribution and cultivation centers, which could not be located within 300 feet of a school or preschool, would be operated by private or nonprofit organizations and businesses that would be licensed by the city.

The council will have to vote on it a second time next month. But it will likely be at least several months before the city's medical marijuana program gets off the ground.

--Tim Craig

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By Washington Post editors  | April 20, 2010; 4:12 PM ET
Categories:  DC  | Tags:  Cannabis, Marijuana, Medical cannabis  
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Comments

Did you plan this or is it just a coincidence that this bill passed on 4/20 and you make this post at 4:20. Come on...

Posted by: seriesoftubescleaner | April 20, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

EXCELLENT!!!!!!! This is almost becoming California East :) W00T!

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 20, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Rock on, Garth...Rock on.

Posted by: Serengeti | April 20, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

EXCELLENT!!!!!!! This is almost becoming California East :) W00T!

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 20, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Um, almost, but not really. And from the looks of your excitement and tag name "sigmagrrl" says to me: "partyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!". Which unfortunately is terribly unprofessional and looks really bad for the people that wanted this bill to pass for all the right reasons. NOT so some college sorority girl can obtain marijuana more easily. I'm glad the bill was passed, and I'm glad you made yourself look like an idiot.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | April 20, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The DC Council clowns are at it again. Now you can smoke dope (and illegal substance) but you cannot defend yourself with a firearm (an inherent right to self defense and your personal life).

My god, has the DC Council actually been doing this drug themselves?

Posted by: willtill | April 20, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The DC Council clowns are at it again. Now you can smoke dope (and illegal substance) but you cannot defend yourself with a firearm (an inherent right to self defense and your personal life).

My god, has the DC Council actually been doing this drug themselves?

Posted by: willtill | April 20, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse


Well if you read the article it clearly states for medicinal purposes only, i.e. AIDS, glaucoma, chronic and lasting diesease. So, no, not everyone will be toking up. But you better be scared! Because I've heard marijuana users get the munchies for braaaaains, and start to defamate Jesus and the bible while high on the substance. Get yer gun loaded pilgrim. Oh wait! You can't! hahahahaha

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | April 20, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

It's just like the D.C. Council to pass this crap so fast but yet still slow walking around doing something about the spree of violents crimes in the District !

Posted by: curtis1112 | April 20, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Dudes. Legalize pot. And I am against illegal crime. Illegal crime should always be illegal. Legal crimes should be legalized. Let me stipulate that illegal marijuana should be legal. Also legal marijuana. Dudes and dudesters.

Posted by: kls1 | April 20, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, because "Bigfoot_has_a_posse" screams K Street lobbying firm representative. *eyeroll*

Are you aware that SixSigma is a prominent data and statistical analysis methodology? Perhaps I work with that? Also, it's a summation operator in math...maybe I'm a mathematician?

OR it could be that you are so simple minded and stupid as to think that this simple five letter word can only apply to sororities and fraternities, you dope...PUN INTENDED!

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 20, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Awesome. Party at 1600 Penn Ave tonight.

Posted by: jhpbriton | April 20, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, one more thing. My dad died of cancer and we couldn't get him access to medical marijuana and THAT is why I'm happy, smarta$$: so others who suffer will have this wonderful option available.

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 20, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, because "Bigfoot_has_a_posse" screams K Street lobbying firm representative. *eyeroll*

Are you aware that SixSigma is a prominent data and statistical analysis methodology? Perhaps I work with that? Also, it's a summation operator in math...maybe I'm a mathematician?

OR it could be that you are so simple minded and stupid as to think that this simple five letter word can only apply to sororities and fraternities, you dope...PUN INTENDED!

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 20, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, one more thing. My dad died of cancer and we couldn't get him access to medical marijuana and THAT is why I'm happy, smarta$$: so others who suffer will have this wonderful option available.

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 20, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

My bad, and my sincerest apologies to your late father. You got me. Truce?

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | April 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Did they do this today, 4/20, on purpose.

Posted by: 123cartoon | April 20, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Finally,

Now lets just post signs on all the bridges,

Religious Nuts, and Fascists, Need Not Enter.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 20, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

What about medical marijuana prescriptions to treat other diseases and ailments? Anxiety, menstrual cramps, etc. It seems that by limiting use to a "chronic and lasting disease," DC council is playing doctor. What does this mean? Does the disease have to be potentially terminal?

If the plant is safe and healthy to treat cancer or HIV, then doctors should be able to use their discretion, as is the case with any other prescription drug.

Just today, Slate has part III of an article on marijuana used to treat autism. http://www.slate.com/id/2251174/ Why should this not be allowed in DC?

Posted by: sarah1978 | April 20, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

One step closer... YAY!!!

Posted by: ericroks | April 20, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

And this just in - Marion Barry is lobbying for use of "Medical Crack."

Posted by: pgr88 | April 20, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Of course the DC Council is playing doctor -- just like the WaPo editorialists did yesterday. However, they've proved that they're lousy doctors because any MD knows that "chronic" and "lasting" are the same thing when talking about disease.

Posted by: laboo | April 20, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

congress is a bunch of dopers!
every body knows that dude'
nancy pelosi is a spaced out
cat!!!!
and harry reid???
he is long gone...
always listening to the doobie bros
and bytching about the MAN

Posted by: simonsays1 | April 20, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Robert Heinlein predicted this phase in our society and called it "the crazy years."

Enjoy.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | April 20, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Another point proving DC is not ready for Statehood!!
One more HUGE chance for the council to revel in scandal!!
Maybe DC should apply to CA for annexation ?!?!?!?

Posted by: thornegp2626 | April 20, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Wait, hold on. Did two people arguing on in a comment section just resolve their differences amicably and in a tone of general agreement and resolution? Am I on the right website?

Posted by: CraigBettenhausen | April 20, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Understanding the article:
chronically ill patients: anybody suffer from any illness that is not cureable such as acne, bunions, depression, tennis elbow

doctor's prescription: any doctor in any state even if that doctor has never seen the patient

doctor's recommendation: versus a prescription. A foot doctor will be able to 'recommend' pot to relieve foot pain

pot distribution centers: don't we already have these in the city? Oh wait. The city isn't getting a cut from them.

privately run cultivation centers: all the ones operating now are privately run

We can't do anything about the gun violence in the city but at least we'll be mellow.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | April 20, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

And when the vote became final, Marion Barry said "PARTY!!!!!!!!."

Posted by: wagtdn | April 20, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

About time DC joined the rest of the Free World.

By the way, by this fall, thanks to groups like sensiblewashington.org and others, the entire West Coast will legalize MJ and the sad sad waste of tax dollars that is the War on Drugs will be over.

We'll be paying less in taxes and living in freedom. But back East you'll still be behind the Iron Wall and paying lots of taxes for no positive results.

Posted by: WillSeattle | April 20, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

It's about time. Now I can take my "glaucoma medicine" without smoking any seeds!!!

Posted by: TheDr5544 | April 20, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe that is what congress has been smoking for the past year?

Posted by: tonyjm | April 20, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank you sigmagrrl for setting Bigfoot_has_a_posse straight. Leaping to conclusions and lecturing other posters without full information is just bad form.

Posted by: logan303 | April 20, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Finally,

Now lets just post signs on all the bridges,

Religious Nuts, and Fascists, Need Not Enter.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 20, 2010 5:02 PM

*******************************************

Agree. Now lets just post signs on all the bridges on the opposite side:

Potheads, Crack Hoes, and Gangbangers Need Not Enter. Violators will be shot on sight.

Posted by: hisroc | April 20, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

2 ounces in 30-days?

Oh it's been awhile, but is that enough for daily "medicinal" use? that's serious question.

Posted by: oknow1 | April 20, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Wait, hold on. Did two people arguing on in a comment section just resolve their differences amicably and in a tone of general agreement and resolution? Am I on the right website?

Posted by: CraigBettenhausen | April 20, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Thats the result of this new law. Peace.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 20, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Calling Nurse Jackie!

Please roll a FatBoy for the patient in Room 123.

Thank You!

Posted by: connerabr | April 20, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Puff puff pass !

Posted by: ashafer_usa | April 20, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I've smoked marijuana in D.C. and it was good. I feel great. Like gay marriage, abortion, and several other subjects, this should be left alone and left to the individual. TFL, Ken

Posted by: kentigereyes | April 20, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

anyone think crohn's disease sufferers will be allowed to seek treatment under this program?

Posted by: moonshinesuperman | April 20, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"Nothing New Under the Sun."

WE ARE FREE TO DO WHATEVER WE WANT AS LONG AS IT IS GOVERNMENT APPROVED; AND WE GET AS MUCH JUSTICE AS WE CAN AFFORD!!

Posted by: samxstreampools | April 20, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

The author of the article should have included Mayor Fenty's position on this legislation.

Posted by: ashafer_usa | April 20, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

That's all DC needed to completely go to crap....legalized Pot. I'm sure Maryland will be next and guess where all the corporations are going to move to - VIRGINIA! Not only does Virginia have much cheaper taxes, they also have laws!

Posted by: Realist20 | April 20, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

For those who comment that marijuana 'is' illegal and the lawmakers are potheads, please remember that marijuana is just a plant. A group of people made a CHOICE to prohibit it, and now another group has changed that for certain citizens. There are no absolutes involved here, this is pure politics. If you have a medical argument against this move, please explain it. But inherent illegality is not an argument against legality.

Posted by: edgarhons | April 20, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@ Bigfoot: No hard feelings. Exuberance can be misinterpreted...it IS the interwebz, after all!

@ Craig and Alex: Reasonableness: I haz it ;)

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 20, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

OH, BOY!!!!


AM MOVING TO WASHINGTON, DC!!!!

Posted by: coqui44 | April 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Marijuana is illegal? You mean "was" illegal. The law just changed. See how that works?

Posted by: fleeciewool | April 20, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Great. Just what DC needed. More people on drugs.

Posted by: TinCup1 | April 20, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

What happen to people taking a "toke" and "turn[ing] into a bird and flying around the room for 30 minutes"?

But don't expect it to "become legal" any time soon. There is just way too much money in it as it is. People talk about how they can tax it and make millions of dollars. But these people also forget that there are hundreds of millions dedicated in the Defense Budget for fighting drugs. There are millions dedicated in every state and most large cities to arrest, detain and punish "pot smokers". And what percentage of our state prisons are filled with "potheads"? These are millions of dollars already coming out of our taxes to pay for all these people and "services". Why would our government give up any of this?

Just think of the millions of dollars that "pot smokers" give to other nations and gangs, of which currently control the supply? The government just has to collect taxes to help fight this. What other choice do they have?

Posted by: gjconely | April 20, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Like California, it will just be a matter of finding the docs who will give you a good deal on buying the Rx. Why play these games. Time to legalize marijuana.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | April 20, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Laws against marijuana only affect law-abiding people. Criminals get high all they want.

Posted by: fleeciewool | April 20, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

or a "chronic and lasting disease"

potomac fever should qualify

but we should get 2 oz PER DAY

Posted by: praetorian-guard | April 20, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

As the founder of Montana Pain Management INC, a for-profit cannabis clinic providing full range cannabis therapeutics I invite you to look at our web site at www.montanapm.com and take the tour and see how w medical marijuana clinic can function and be a positive asset to the medical/ disabled community.
We are GAAP standards with every gram that we raise and administer for our clients.
Our model allows us to qualify for MEDICAID SPEND DOWN for clients who qualify.
Our hospice program is FREE, and our relationship with the cancer community is strong.
If proper controls and a structured program is instituted it will work and serve those most in need.
Thank you
Rick Rosio
President
Montana Pain Management INC
2311 3rd Street
Missoula, Mt. 59802
406.728.5298
www.montanapm.com

Posted by: medcannabis1 | April 20, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

WHITE HOUSE DESIGNATED POT DISTRIBUTION CENTER

(WASHINGTON DC) An anonymous Supreme White House Press Czar announced that the White House would accept designation as a Pot Distribution Center "to support the DC Govt". A dozen lit joints were passeed around the press conference for inexperienced reporters to sample the ganja.


On background, aides expressed relief that the media would assume Obama was only smoking pot, not cigarettes.

The anonymous Press Czar emphasized the benefits of lighting up a joint before writing obamacare or other hallucinogenic
legislation.

"You really need 4 or 5 joints before you start working on the budget deficit."

Posted by: praetorian-guard | April 20, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

WHITE HOUSE DESIGNATED POT DISTRIBUTION CENTER

(WASHINGTON DC) An anonymous Supreme White House Press Czar announced that the White House would accept designation as a Pot Distribution Center "to support the DC Govt". A dozen lit joints were passed around the press conference for inexperienced reporters to sample the ganja.


On background, aides expressed relief that the media would assume Obama was only smoking pot, not cigarettes.

The anonymous Press Czar emphasized the benefits of lighting up a joint before writing obamacare or other hallucinogenic
legislation.

"You really need 4 or 5 joints before you start working on the budget deficit."

Posted by: praetorian-guard | April 20, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Sensible policies are gradually winning, after decades of stupid decisions. Billions of tax dollars were wasted and countless prison space, which meant that real criminals had to be freed to make room for the 'mandatory minimums' sentences. DARE and other forces of lies, hysteria and reefer madness have been thoroughly exposed.

Posted by: revbookburn | April 20, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I have several friends that will benefit from the passing of this bill. I have friends that didn't wait for it to be approved. They knew years ago about how marijuana helps with pain and took the chance of getting caught.

Posted by: skinfreak | April 20, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

@willtill
"The DC Council clowns are at it again. Now you can smoke dope (and illegal substance) but you cannot defend yourself with a firearm (an inherent right to self defense and your personal life).

My god, has the DC Council actually been doing this drug themselves?"

Did it occur to you that this "Constitutional right" (which in other documents was clearly enumerated as a right for a state to have a militia for war, but that's another story) says NOTHING about illegal drugs. Nothing. So yea, why is it illegal? Point to your precious constitution for that.

Posted by: miacane1 | April 20, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Come on, this is DC, you know there is a CATCH? You know the licenses for the privately run cultivation centers will cost a pretty penny but also, DC is GOING TO TAX, TAX, and TAX. Why do you think they are so eager? Now, I have no problem with them reasonably taxing, however, it's just a charade doing this. Just legalize the stuff and quit playing games so people have to go doctor shopping. Then you can tax it like cigarettes on the open market.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | April 20, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

95 plants per cultivator. I guess now we know how many plants will fit into the basement of the average DC council member or their friends and/or relatives.
I guess we have even more legalized chicanery to look forward to once DC gets a vote in Congress.
That being said, they still deserve to have a vote in Congress. But when Churchill said the worst system except for all others, he must have had a Nostradamus-like vision of the future DC government in action.

Posted by: stillaliberal | April 20, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Weed doesn't kill people - people do.

Posted by: fleeciewool | April 20, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Another point proving DC is not ready for Statehood!!
One more HUGE chance for the council to revel in scandal!!
Maybe DC should apply to CA for annexation ?!?!?!?

Posted by: thornegp2626 | April 20, 2010 5:24 PM

That would be great! Then we would at least get a VOTE in Congress.

Posted by: kreen | April 20, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The restrictions on this legislation are absurd. Only 5 to 8 dispensaries? Really?? For the HIV, Glaucoma and other patients that currently get there weed from a dealer will still get it from a dealer because it'll be cheaper from the dealer. Not to mention the law created a de-facto cartel which runs counter to federal anti-trust laws.

Second, where are the cultivation centers going to be located? How are they going to get there seeds legally (last time I checked ordering seeds from out of state puts you squarely in the feds cross hairs)?

The council needs to revisit this issue and not put limits on the number of dispensaries and clarify how a cultivation center is going to get the raw materials it needs without breaking federal law.

Posted by: tedkmay | April 20, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

how do I get a license to sell pot? In California, the sellers are getting rich. This seems like a great way to make some money especially if the law ends up being interpreted like in California (you can say you suffer from migraines and get pot).

Posted by: columbiaheights | April 20, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

A congress will do what now. require that all dc residents carry guns. Sen. Byrd will require that medicinal mary jane only comes from West virginia.

Posted by: oknow1 | April 20, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

The DC Council (and those who elect them)continue to be a sad example that democracy doesn't always work. I'm just glad we won't have to worry about DC having a dope-smoking voting representative in Congress now that the Democrats have shown they are more interested in pooping on the US Constitution's 2nd Amendment than helping us get to vote. I can go back to pointing out that folks shouldn't judge the real America by the clowns in DC since the district is still not a State...just more of a failed welfare county.

Posted by: Drew95 | April 20, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I am glad for the citizens of DC. I know from personal experience with a family member's fight that pot greatly helps cancer patients deal with their disease.

Posted by: johng1 | April 21, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh No! Pot junkies will be wild in the streets. Look out!!!

Posted by: TooManyPeople | April 21, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"How are they going to get there seeds legally (last time I checked ordering seeds from out of state puts you squarely in the feds cross hairs)?"

They really only need one batch of top quality seeds. Then they can either use a few females from each crop as "breeders" for the next one, or simply clone each new generation without needing seeds at all.

Posted by: laboo | April 21, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"How are they going to get there seeds legally (last time I checked ordering seeds from out of state puts you squarely in the feds cross hairs)?"

They really only need one batch of top quality seeds. Then they can either use a few females from each crop as "breeders" for the next one, or simply clone each new generation without needing seeds at all.

****
Does this mean if I open a growhouse I can finally write off my trips to Amsterdam?

Posted by: psherwood78 | April 21, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Finally D.C. is up with Virginia. Although Virginia's Medical Marijuana law only allows Cancer and Glaucoma patients to be safe from prosecution, it has been the law here in Virginia since 1979.

Because of heart problems I can't use the usual medications for my Glaucoma and my doctor wrote me a prescription for Marijuana, hopefully now I can go to the Capitol of MY country and get some medicine. I am too old to find the "blackmarket" here in Virginia.

For those that don't know, Glaucoma is very painful and is the leading cause of blindness. God gave us this medicine and the conservative bluenoses are keeping it from those who need it. The Congress and the President signed off on this new law, just as it has to on every law written in D.C. Why are they keeping it from every state? If you need this medicine you'll be glad it is available to you.

For those of you that think this medicine is a joke, think about this. The government has a patent on THC for it's medicinal value. For diseases like Alzheimer's, MS. Parkinson's, Brain Trauma including post stroke damage. It is medicine. Important medicine.

So next time you want to make a joke about it. Think about your old age, or your parents or grandparents. They might get a benefit from it. Nausea and vomiting from cancer treatment? Best medicine out there. Glaucoma? Best and safest medicine out there. MS? relieves spasms and pain without side effects, unless you consider making you feel better a side effect. And most importantly, it costs about the same as a tomato to grow, infact it is in the tomato family.

So be careful when you make your jokes. You might need it someday... Just like I did.

Posted by: iamuhuh | April 21, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I get more and more impressed with my city all the time. Shame we are so close to Virgina, though. Sometimes when the wind is from the south you can almost smell the stupid superstitions....

Posted by: brandonesque | April 21, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

There are certain hard scientific facts that would support the Legalization, but the "orthodox" addiction medicine establishment, being anything but independent from tight DEA control, is not nearly as forthcoming with this information as it should be for scientific integrity. As opposed to alcohol and most controlled prescription drugs, marijuana use has not been associated with one single case of fatal overdose, marijuana does not have a documented physical withdrawal, and its addiction liability is only 3% compared with 10% for alcohol and around 20% for opiates, both legal (morphine) and illegal (heroin). Cannabis use has been shown to reduce the violent crime (Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, 4-th Edition, page 267). After working for years with seriously drug-addicted patients in Philadelphia, PA, I understand the scientific fallacy of classifying cannabis in the same group with heroin and cocaine. The so-called "gateway drug" theory is by now completely discredited, but this scientific fact is not widely advertised or known. At the same time, the medicinal properties of marijuana plant are by now so clearly beyond dispute, that even the "opponents" are no longer fully comfortable in repeating the old nonsense that the plant has "no medical benefits". Between 74 and 81% of Americans support legalization of marijuana for at least medical use. I hope that whatever decision people make in the end (and I hope it will be to legalize this natural medicinal plant), they should make it with all the facts at their disposal.

Posted by: leonardo_de_los_reyes2000 | April 21, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh, all the sudden I cant see so well....

Posted by: cms36 | April 21, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

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