Ohio_Patient_Network

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Legislation Event News Washington DC: City Council Unanimously Backs Medical Marijuana Dispensary Plan

Washington DC: City Council Unanimously Backs Medical Marijuana Dispensary Plan

E-mail Print PDF

Washington, DC: Members of the DC City Council voted unanimously this week in favor of legislation that seeks to establish medical marijuana dispensaries in the District of Columbia.

Under the proposal (B 18-622), which is expected to receive priol approval from the Council next month, city Health Department officials would regulate up to five facilities to dispense medical cannabis to authorized patients. Medical dispensaries would be limited to growing no more than 95 plants on site at any one time.

Patients would be able to obtain up to two ounces of dispensary-provided marijuana per month, but would not be permitted to privately cultivate their own supply. Low-income patients will be allowed to purchase medical marijuana at a greatly reduced cost under the plan.

The legislation seeks to implement components of Initiative 59, a 1998 DC ballot measure that garnered 69 percent of the vote. However, until this year DC city lawmakers have been barred from instituting the measure because of a Congressional ban on the issue. Congress lifted its ban late last year.

Once approved, Congress has 30 days to either approve or reject the measure.

At a DC City Council hearing in February, NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre testified in favor of the measure, but criticized lawmakers' decision to remove patients' access to home cultivation. "NORML believes that efforts by lawmakers to place undue restrictions on doctors' abilities to recommend medical cannabis, and patients abilities to legally possess amounts that are in accordance with their specific medical needs " regardless of however well-intentioned these efforts by the Council may be " contradict the spirit of 1-59 and should be rejected by this Committee," St. Pierre said.

DC officials contend that the restrictions are necessary to avoid having Congressional lawmakers overturn the measure.

Last week, lawmakers in Maine approved legislation to allow for the creation of state-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensaries. Similar legislation has also been approved in New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island.

Last Updated on Sunday, 16 May 2010 15:38  

Medical Marijuana News

AMA question marijuana’s federal  classification of as a deadly, addictive drug with no medical use.

COLUMBUS, OHIO — At the November American Medical Association conference the AMA reversed it's position on marijuana as a schedule I drug and urges that “marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid based medicines.”  This is a reversal of the AMA position, which has equated marijuana in the same class as heroin.

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by Ohio and the federal government.  A achedule I drug is defined as a substance with high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety standards for its use under medical supervision.  Schedule I drug can not be prescibed by doctors, but the federal government for 40 years has been supply in 300 joints a month to a small group of citiizens.

The AMA now appears to be ready to join other medical organization such as American College of Physicians, American Nurses Association, and others in questioning the federal classification as a deadly addictive drug with no accepted medical use.  Ohio classifies marijuana similarly.

The American College of Physicians, a large organization representing internal medicine doctors, made a similar statement as the AMA. The ACP "supports programs and funding for rigorous scientific evaluation of the potential therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana and the publication of such findings”.

"The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that patients should have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis. Cannabis or marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions." {Providing Patients Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis," American Nurses Association (ANA) website, Mar. 19, 2004}

Ohio and the federal government is going to find it increasingly difficult to support their claims that cannabis (aka marijuana) as having no medical value.  A majority of Ohio citizens supports medical marijuana as evidenced by the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research recent poll results.

Ohio Patients are working to change Ohio laws concerning medical marijuana.