Sat Aug 3, 2013, 06:53 PM
RainDog (25,931 posts)
1st medical marijuana dispensary in DC opened
The shop, located on N. Capitol Street, NW just north of New York Avenue, is only 2.5 miles from the White House and the rest of the city center. Patients with certain qualifying conditions including cancer, glaucoma, muscle spasms and HIV/AIDS will be able to purchase cannabis at the shop.
The shop represents a battle that has been long and drawn out in our nation's capitol. Voters approved medical cannabis in 1998, but the U.S. Congress (which has to approve changes to D.C. law) prevented that from happening for nearly 11 years. In 2009 the city began the process of registering and licensing patients but it's been a lengthy four years to get dispensaries off the ground as many lawmakers feared federal intervention (and federal jail time) for implementing the will of the voters.
Unfortunately, Washington D.C. does not allow for reciprocity with other state medical marijuana programs. So medical cannabis patients from any of the 50 state surrounding the city are still sadly considered criminals.
The opening is sure to get more publicity over the next few weeks, which might actually get politicians to pay attention to the fact that medical cannabis is almost literally at their doorsteps.
So, Congress - tell me how you can (finally) fund the District of Columbia's medical marijuana law yet refuse to address the error in national law and policy that continues to claim marijuana has no medical value and is, thus, a Schedule I substance.
It seems the Controlled Substances Act has been altered by Congress by this legislative action. At this point, Congress simply needs to remove cannabis from the CSA entirely and remove it from control of the DEA and put it under the control of the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Marijuana (the last bit is part of Democrat Jared Polis' legislation.)
Since 72% of American voters do not want to waste money on enforcing marijuana prohibition - across political divisions - I have to ask - who is Congress serving by its refusal to address this issue?
They certainly aren't serving their constituents.
6 replies, 456 views
1st medical marijuana dispensary in DC opened (Original post)
Response to tridim (Reply #3)
Sat Aug 3, 2013, 08:34 PM
RainDog (25,931 posts)
5. the reality is that more dispensaries have opened since Obama took office
Last edited Sat Aug 3, 2013, 08:36 PM - Edit history (1)
AND more dispensaries have been raided since Obama took office. So, part of the reason for the increase in raids is because of the increase in the dispensaries themselves.
MANY of those dispensaries were operating outside of state regulations, but not all of them.
Harborside, for instance, was in compliance when it got raided.
The federal level of action against legal marijuana, however, does not just play out in the form of raids on dispensaries. The other ways the fed harasses marijuana dispensary operators is through their landlords and the IRS.
I agree with you that Obama could've gone after this much more than he has -
but what people really don't understand is this: they know Obama is a smart man. They know he understands how the law is applied in racist manners in this nation. They know Obama has experience with mj and knows it's not some scary thing. They know he can read and understand the scientific research that has demonstrated current scheduling is outside of reality. They know that FOR 20 YEARS the American public has supported medical marijuana legalization - and yet..
He keeps Leonhart in her position. He brushes off voter-inspired requests for him to address this issue. He says legalization is not one of his options - but then refuses to COMPROMISE with a federal decriminalization stance that has some substance behind it.
Yet he can compromise with Congress to find ways to make things work - why can't he find a way to compromise with 3/4s of the voting population?
Response to RainDog (Original post)
Sat Aug 3, 2013, 08:24 PM
RainDog (25,931 posts)
4. Equal Protection Clause
"States with medical marijuana programs should now be free from federal interference since Congress has allowed local control," attorney Matthew Pappas at Pappas Law Group, based in Long Beach, California, told Toke of the Town Monday afternoon. "Congress, being the legislative branch of the federal sovereign and the only body that can change these laws, has now done so by recognizing the voting rights of Washington, D.C., citizens."
Likewise, Californians and citizens of the 15 other states which have legalized medicinal cannabis are equally protected and have the same voting rights in respect to medical marijuana, according to Pappas Law Group.
"Congress has turned over the area of medical marijuana to state and local governments," said Pappas, speaking for the disabled plaintiffs in the California case Marla James v. the Cities of Costa Mesa and Lake Forest. "Through Congress's duty to equally protect everyone under the law, all patients in states with medical marijuana laws operating in full compliance with those laws should not, from now forward, be subject to previous long standing federal marijuana prohibitions."
"They're not going to be subject to the CSA ," Pappas confirmed to Toke of the Town in a telephone conversation. "In our country, when one group of voters has been given the right to vote on something, other voters, likewise, have the right to do so -- in this case, approve medical marijuana."
The problem is when you live in a state that is not allowed to put measures on the ballots up for a vote. Those states remain hostages to the whims of their legislators, or, more precisely, in those states, the monied interests that continue to fight for prohibition do so at the expense of every single person's medical well being in those states.
Some legislators have tried to address this issue at the state level and their proposals are allowed to die in committee before ever reaching a hearing on the floor.
But here we have a non-toxic substance that has proven its capacity to improve the rate of cancer and HIV patients' survival - but we have state legislators that are more concerned with the money they get from religious conservatives and the federal govt. to care about the citizens they are supposed to represent.
I hope some of those red states will have candidates who run on a fiscal conservative legalization platform. If we can't get rid of the religious right by voting in democrats, we would all be better off to have conservatives who respond to rational arguments and data that goes back decades.