City Desk

D.C. Medical Marijuana Framework Still Very Partially Baked

D.C. Medical Marijuana Laws

For those keeping track of the District's progress in the medical marijuana game, today is not the small milestone it appeared to be.

DCist reports that the medical marijuana rules released in November 2010 will go into effect... not today, but shortly: "It seems that while the rules should be taking effect today due to the timing of when they were submitted to the D.C. Council, they only become legally valid once published in the D.C. Register, which should happen next week."

The rules themselves are hardly liberal: The District will allow only five dispensaries and ten cultivation centers. (City Paper looked at one proposed center, to be run by a rabbi in Takoma, in August.) Patients will only be allowed to purchase two ounces a month. And whenever they take effect, it won't exactly signal the advent of a medical marijuana culture around these parts. Mayor Vince Gray still has to appoint a four-person board to oversee the operation and handling of related policy, and the Department of Health will undertake rules applying to patients and doctors.

DCist notes that "the glacial pace with which the program has progressed has been of some frustration to advocates, many of whom have found leases left hanging until they could be sure that the rules would take effect and have someone to govern their implementation." We wish upon NORML-ites and their compatriots a heavy does of patience; expect Gray's deliberateness to shine in this arena.

Photo by Neeta Lind via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

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  • Duncan20903

    I bet everyone is ecstatic that DC was finally allowed home rule since the people of DC don't need politicians from foreign States ignoring the will of the people. Finally DC get its due, and will have the voters' wishes ignored by politicians that the residents themselves vote into office.

    It was stunningly arrogant of the DC Council to completely rewrite Initiative 59, spitting on and showing their utter contempt for the voters in the process.

    The entire city is limited to 950 plants. That's simply absurd in the extreme. The Council had no clue whatever what they were doing, and refused to negotiate in good faith or making use of the hundreds of experts who volunteered to explain reality to them.

    It doesn't really matter, Mr. yOmama is in process of eliminating all dispensaries, at least in their current form. It was bad joo joo to try to shut them down and explain why it was a crime to supply patients with medicine. He's not going to send in DEA agents and bust them for distribution. Shucks, even Bush the lesser had enough brainpower to figure out that would be a politically insane to do. No, BarryO is sending in the IRS.

    I'll bet that you didn't know that those engaged in a business of vending illicit drugs are not allowed to deduct expenses. Yes indeed, the Treasury wants 40% calculated on gross revenue, which leaves 60% of gross revenue to cover all expenses, wages, rent, purchase more stock, etc etc etc.

    I do believe that the dispensary model is done for, but that doesn't mean I think medical cannabis is going away.

  • seabourne

    One would think the DEA and ONDCP has doctors or scientists on staff.
    Sadly this is not so - we would like to see that changed and believe it is a step to change.

    Please sign the letter petition to appoint a doctor or scientist to the DEA and ONDCP.

    http://criminaljustice.change.org/petitions/view/appoint_a_doctor_or_scientist_to_the_dea_and_ondcp

    Thank you!

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