May 05, 2010 Medical marijuana spreads like a good weed to D.C.
Image from public domain.
During my fourteen years as a Washington, D.C., resident, through 2002, I felt dissonance about being in a colony that had taxation without representation in Congress, and where I believe that D.C. would have been much closer to statehood today were it not for Congressmembers’ past views (if not present views, as well) on race, where African Americans have long comprised the majority of D.C.’s residents. Now an eight-year Maryland resident, I cheer Washington’s distinction —- no matter how limited —- in soon becoming the first medical marijuana state south of Rhode Island on the Eastern Seaboard, even in the face of needing Congressional approval for D.C. legislation, which is a hurdle not faced by Maryland, which still failed to pass this year’s proposed medical marijuana bill.
On May 4, the D.C. Council gave final approval to the medical marijuana bill, which Mayor Fenty apparently will sign. With Congressional barricades to medical marijuana having been recently removed, I am optimistic that Congress will not exercise its colonial powers to reject this legislation during the thirty-day period that it has to strike any signed D.C. legislation.
I have not yet found D.C.’s final medical marijuana legislation; the interim measure that passed on April 20 is here. The Washington Post reports that the medical marijuana bill “originally restricted chronically ill patients with a doctors’ recommendation to no more than two ounces of marijuana in a 30-day period. But the council approved an amendment giving the Fenty administration the authority to set the possession limit at four ounces a month if it decides the need exists.”
Although riddled with cookies, this Dcist article addresses such issues as rejected legislative amendment proposals to allow doctors in Maryland and Virginia to recommend medical marijuana to those obtaining it in D.C. NORML blogs on the final D.C. medical marijuana bill.
Here is a Washington Post article on some local physicians’ reactions to medical marijuana , from concerns about dosages and uniform quality and strength to relief over patients’ use of medical marijuana without fear of arrest for taking beneficial medicine.
A Washington Post poll shows 80% support by Washingtonians for medical marijuana.
Those desiring medical marijuana should be expected to move to Washington, D.C. from nearby communities in Maryland and Virginia. Perhaps the influx into D.C. of medical marijuana patients and their household members will be so big as to stimulate D.C.’s sagging real estate market that it shares with the surrounding region.
Once medical marijuana legislation becomes effective in D.C., the next push needs to be for D.C. statehood.