Over-regulation threatens DC medical cannabis program

Posted on April 7th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuanaOn March 30, the District of Columbia granted licenses to six cannabis cultivators, finally moving toward implementing the medical marijuana program that was approved by the District's voters in 1998 vote but blocked by Congress—which controls the district's budget—for over a decade. But advocates now warn that burdensome regulation by the District's own government threatens the program. In the last three months, the DC Council has passed several restrictions on the locations of the 10 cultivation centers it originally authorized in a 2010 law.

In January, the council capped the number of cultivators in any one ward to six. And last month, it approved legislation introduced by council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) that explicitly barred one cultivation center that had been slated for her ward.

Under the restrictions, the District's Health Department has only been able to approve six cultivation center licenses—while the program's original rules envisioned 10, each growing 95 plants. Five of those centers are in Ward 5; the remaining one was targeted by Alexander’s bill and will have to find another site. (Washington Post, April 6)

Medical marijuana finally became legal in the District in July 2010, after the Democrat-controlled Congress declined to overrule a DC Council bill establishing the program. The previous year, Congress had overturned the 1998 Barr Amendment that barred the District from implementing the program—ironically with the approval of its sponsor, Bob Barr of Georgia. The former representative has now rethought his position. (Washington Post, July 27, 2010; Drug War Chronicle, July 17, 2009)

Graphic by Herbal Remedies 



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