Thursday, January 21, 2010

Medical marijuana dispensaries in the District?

This post is also featured at Plight of the Pumpernickel.

Washingtonians may soon be able to get their buzz on legally within city limits, that is if a DC Council bill that proposes the installation of up to 5 medical marijuana dispensaries passes.

The bill, sponsored by D.C. Council member David A. Catania, would put into practice a 1998 voter-approved initiative that called for DC's legalization of medical marijuana.

According to an article Tuesday in the Washington Post, the bill, currently co-sponsored by nine of 13 council members, was given new life last month when the Democratic-controlled Congress removed restrictions put in place by the former Republican majority.

Catania's proposal mandates that the District would have what he calls "a closed system to regulate the cultivation, distribution and possession of marijuana."

"What I wanted to make sure we don't do is take something that is evidence-based and scientifically proven for medicine and turn that into a system where there is an opportunity for mischief," said Catania (I-At Large).

While many have expressed excitement over the potential dispensaries, DCist weighed in with some concerns.
It looks like this bill has the votes to pass, but we expect there will be plenty of changes to the particulars while it makes its way through two committees. For instance, will doctors be totally in charge of deciding which patients can get medical pot, or will D.C. ultimately only allow certain kinds of medical problems to be treated with weed? Not to mention, who is going to be allowed to grow the stuff, and where?
Fair questions. Will the DC system resemble those in California, or will it take on a character of its own? Also, when I think Washington, DC, I don't usually think farmland. Could we be seeing some pot patches in Rock Creek Park? That might make the morning jog a bit more mellow.

Everyone has their two cents. The comments on the DCist article are nothing short of amazing. While I may not agree with monkeyrotica, he/she sure is hilarious:
Can strip clubs get in on this action, too? I have a dream that one day, District residents, black and white, will be able to walk hand-in-hand into a full-service deep-tissue massage parlors that also offer target practice in the basement and a casual medical marijuana hookah parlor in the louge, complete with exotic dancing, and the whole "treatment" regimen will be covered by Obamacare. Throw in a colon hydrotherapy clinic, and I'd never leave. I may not get to the Promised Land with you, but I have seen the mountain top.
Touche, monkeyerotica, touche. Also, kudos for getting me to write the word 'monkeyerotica' on my blog. I never thought I'd see the day. I also never thought weed would be legal in our nation's capital, but there you have it.
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