Medical Cannabis Legal in Washington DC, Patients Wait
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 08/09/2010 in Medical Marijuana Laws
Medical cannabis became legal in our nation’s capital last week after Congress declined to overrule a D.C Council bill that legalizes the use of medical marijuana for qualified patients. The council approved the bill in May, and under Home Rule Congress had 30 legislative days to review and overrule. By letting the Congressional review period expire, the bill has passed.
This law removes state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of medical marijuana (also referred to as medical weed, medical pot or medical cannabis) for patients who are suffering from chronic conditions including HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis. Patients must obtain a recommendation from their physician and register with the District’s medical marijuana program to obtain a marijuana card.
This is fantastic news for patients living in DC. But the bad news is that although the laws are in place, patients will not technically be considered legal marijuana patients until Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and the Department of Health set up the DC medical marijuana card program. And patients will not have a legal way to get medical marijuana in DC until the Mayor sets up the dispensaries from which patients are allowed to purchase marijuana. (Like New Jersey’s medical marijuana law, patients in DC will not be allowed to grow or cultivate their own medical marijuana.)
It is expected that patients will have to wait until 2011 before they can obtain medical marijuana from a city-sanctioned dispensary. We’ll keep you posted on any developments.