Cannabis News Media Awareness Project
  Will The D.C. Council Regulate MMJ To Death?
Posted by CN Staff on April 06, 2012 at 16:45:47 PT
By Martin Austermuhle 
Source: Washington Post 

medical Washington, D.C. -- On March 30, the District took a step that was almost 14 years overdue — it granted licenses to six medical marijuana cultivators . With this action, the District is finally moving toward implementing the medical marijuana program that was overwhelmingly approved in a 1998 vote.

But ever since D.C. voters from across the city gave medical marijuana the go-ahead, the program has faced a number of obstacles. While some have been outside the city’s control — Congress prohibited the program’s implementation for more than a decade, for one — others have been homegrown. Ironically, it’s these self-imposed impediments that threaten the viability of a program that is only now starting to take shape.

In the last three months, the D.C. Council has passed additional restrictions on the locations of the 10 marijuana cultivation centers it originally authorized in a 2010 law. In January, it capped the number of cultivators in any one ward to six. Last month, it approved legislation introduced by council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) that explicitly targeted for removal one potential cultivation center in her ward.

The council’s actions have come very late in the game — the rules outlining where cultivation centers can open have been public since August 2010, and hopeful cultivators submitted applications to the D.C. Department of Health in October.

(Not surprisingly, the council also made its moves before the April 3 D.C. primary.)

These last-minute changes are wreaking havoc with the program. Because of the new restrictions, the Department of Health had little choice but to limit itself to six cultivation center licenses, despite the fact that the program’s original rules envisioned 10, each growing 95 plants. Five of those centers are in Ward 5, and the remaining one — in an unused warehouse along Benning Road NE — is now off-limits because of Alexander’s bill and will have to find another site.

Advocates for the program already worry that the supply of medical-grade marijuana will be so limited that prices for qualifying patients — D.C. officials anticipate 800 in the first year, advocates think it could be twice that — will be prohibitively high. While the program does envision discounts for low-income patients, the reality is that legal medical marijuana might well be significantly more expensive than its illegal street-grade alternative — or it might just not be available to those who need it most.

And that’s just factoring in the hoops that the cultivation centers have had to jump through. The five dispensaries that will sell the marijuana to qualifying patients have yet to be chosen, a process that could well feature more opposition and obstacles.

Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) said during a recent debate that the fights over where the marijuana will be grown “pales in comparison to the controversy that is coming when we have to take up the issue of dispensaries.” The Department of Health hopes to hand out dispensary licenses this summer, but the question remains whether it will be as hamstrung as it was with the cultivation centers.

There was a certain advantage to waiting 14 years to implement a medical marijuana program in the District. When Congress finally allowed the city to proceed, officials could look to other states with similar programs to learn what to do and what to avoid. (In short, don’t do what California did.) A tightly controlled program was created with the goal of providing marijuana to only the neediest patients — those with HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, cancer and multiple sclerosis — while carefully avoiding the ire of federal drug enforcement.

But those 14 years have also taken a toll. Advocates for medical marijuana in the District are a small and fractious bunch; few, if any, appeared at the recent council hearings to advocate on behalf of the patients that would benefit from the program. Worse, the results of the 1998 vote seem to have faded from memory; at Ward 5 ANC meetings where cultivation centers were discussed, it appeared to have been all but forgotten that 63.7 percent of the ward’s residents had voted for the program. (Citywide, the vote was 69 percent in favor.)

Additionally, in the city’s zeal to be the anti-California, D.C. officials scrapped the one option that could have spared the program from such determined community and council opposition: home cultivation. The program’s advocates argue that allowing patients to grow their own marijuana would avoid having to pitch skeptical residents on the merit of “pot farms” near their homes.

City officials still hope to have medical marijuana for patients by the end of 2012. But can the council keep itself from imposing further restrictions that might sink the program altogether?

The writer is editor of DCist. He participates in The Post’s Local Blog Network.

Source: Washington Post (DC)
Author: Martin Austermuhle
Published: April 6, 2012
Copyright: 2012 Washington Post Company
Contact: letters@washpost.com
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/QXUwRpEw

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Comment #20 posted by afterburner on April 15, 2012 at 10:30:24 PT
FoM #5
You have the touch for well-arranged photographs.

Our trees have been blooming here for about a week. Pink, white, yellow, red & green (Why can't we just get along?).

I always enjoyed seeing the flowers in Ohio blooming early at Easter and then, returning to Canada to see them blooming later. Spring, ah, the freshness of life and renewal!

Free the flower!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #19 posted by museman on April 09, 2012 at 09:39:51 PT
Hope
"...and we are too weak and helpless against a monolith we are accustomed to being subjugated to, to do anything about it."

We are only as weak as the weakest among us.

We are only helpless because 'we' believe we are.

I think that one of the reasons why YSHWH said "You must be hot or cold. If you are lukewarm, I shall spit you out!" -because all the fence-sitters out there, the willing compromisers ultimately believe more in the system they are so willing to cooperate with, than the liberties they say they support. Regardless of their words, their actions support an end result that is not acceptable to freedom-loving people.

Freedom is an 'all-in' kind of thing. There is no middle ground.

'Law' and all it's worshippers are the middle ground exemplified. Lukewarm spirit at its 'finest'. Lol.

And government is peopled by them. Thus all practitioners of 'law' are perpetuating error of the greatest degree. And when true Justice makes its inevitable appearance (any time now) these posers and pretenders will be the first to burn -under the conditions that they created in the first place.

Loving people should give them a wide berth, even as they attempt to forgive their (the 'law n order' crowd) mighty mistakes.

And stop giving power to the beast!

LEGALIZE FREEDOM

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #18 posted by Hope on April 09, 2012 at 08:48:51 PT
Comment 12
"Sentence first - verdict afterwards!"

That is so God Awful awful! And if a person is found innocent at trial... they will still have been punished just like a guilty person. They still will have paid a terrible price and lost their jobs and probably more and were absolutely innocent.

Punished before a trial or verdict? How is that justice of any kind?

It happens all the time in this country as a matter of course, and we are too weak and helpless against a monolith we are accustomed to being subjugated to, to do anything about it. It eats our children, our friends, ourselves, our neighbors, and our fellow citizens alive, all over this country, each and every day.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #17 posted by Hope on April 09, 2012 at 08:41:56 PT
Museman
It must have been horrible to have to have someone like that as neighbor. I'm so sorry.

And to those who think "snitches" are just "witnesses" to a "crime". They are not. Snitches turn people over to the government for money or pseudo "protection" from the government and often, usually, or always, lure people into committing acts deemed "crimes" by the government.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #16 posted by museman on April 09, 2012 at 08:16:39 PT
Hope
I can't account for increased police funding, but in 1989 the '30 pieces of silver' equivalent was about $2,500 a head for information leading to a conviction in a marijuana growing case -right here in Oregon.

It had to have changed somewhat with the Medical change, but I wouldn't be surprised if the 'law' (some kind of 'administrative ordinance') was still on the books.

I know of at least one 'snitch' here in town that practically lives off of his cop kickbacks. He's a multiple-convicted violent offender, but they keep him out so they can use his information,

(He's not a 'friend' I just happened to live next door to him and his meth buddies for 7 years -I learned a lot about their mentality and modus operandi, and a local corrupt sheriff informed me of the fact that he was convicted about 7 times for violent assault)

These are the kinds of 'helpers' our 'street kings' (cops) use against good people. The bad they keep, the good they imprison.

These days, for a criminal that gets busted, turning informant can pay rather well.

LEGALIZE FREEDOM

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #15 posted by Hope on April 08, 2012 at 19:37:57 PT
True. To me.
"Christ's betrayal by Judas was the archetype cementing into Christian values a lingering distrust of snitches and informants."

Thirty pieces of silver. That's all it cost. I wonder how that translates to snitch pay today.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #14 posted by Hope on April 08, 2012 at 19:33:54 PT
My friends.
Jesus Christ 'the all-time poster child for the innocence movement'

http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2012/04/jesus-christ-all-time-poster-child-for.html

"Easter is strikingly filled with criminal justice themes, isn't it?"

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #13 posted by Hope on April 08, 2012 at 19:32:06 PT
Dr. Ganj
Keep safe. It's always good to hear from you, Dr. Ganj.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #12 posted by Hope on April 08, 2012 at 19:27:05 PT
the truth will set us free
Pretrial punishment: "Sentence first - verdict afterwards!"

http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2012/04/pretrial-punishment-sentence-first.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by afterburner on April 08, 2012 at 11:38:55 PT
the truth will set us free
The philosophy of freedom: Much more than demanding government get out of our lives, you must first get the tyranny out of your own heart. Thursday, April 05, 2012. by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger. Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...). Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035478_freedom_tyranny_philosophy.html

Helping to get the changes of heart we need to make the progress we need.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by The GCW on April 08, 2012 at 09:56:13 PT
Dr. G.,
"even if Colorado votes to go legal, the Feds will simply sue, drag it into federal court"

-0-

Webpage: http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_20335831/editorial-railing-against-peaceful-pot-protests - Pubdate: 8 Apr

It's a "full-grown ganja circus"

-0-

I don't believe Coloradoan's are going to wait for the FED's court nonsense.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by museman on April 08, 2012 at 09:04:15 PT
the truth will set us free
"The US is so filled with over-zealous cops, and prosecutors, I really don't see an end to this mess."

It is really amazing to see the incredible amount of denial in the general population about the actual, real situation of the Amerikan police state.

There is nothing about any of it that remotely resembles liberty, justice, or equality, let alone any of the higher aspects of the human spirit and nature. They are all thugs. Period. If they aren't then I expect they would quit like so many ex-cops I have known, do know, that had a conscience.

Continuing to justify their existence in any way -including support for the system that spawns them- is empowering their thuggery.

The truth held by one man can change history. The truth held -and practiced- by groups and communities can change reality. But not while false knowledge, false value, and false authority is taking up the space in our collective consciousness.

Some cannot know the truth and mock those whose intentions are purely about the truth. What passes for a lot of the mainstream 'humor' is really just propaganda and mockery of the truth. People laugh because they know the truth somewhere deep down, but are afraid to look because their neighbors are all afraid. So they make jokes that belittle and reduce the truth to ridicule.

The people eat it up.

They go to the stores and buy products that support the corporations instead of their own communities. They burn fossil fuels to accomplish all the to-and-froing that must occur to supply all those cites with non-locally produced goods and services. People leave their TV's, lights, computers, etc on for hours without even using them, consuming power and energy with a 100% waste factor. They echo the lingo of mainstream mammon, and the youth are brought up to believe in the horrors of life -because they see it everywhere in the media and on the streets- rather than the beauties and marvels, and their lives and consciousnesses are filled with garbage dumps of worthless information and erroneous beliefs.

That ignorance is bad enough. But when they take up their low-brow defense of their right-to-be-enslaved, or their right to be idiots, it is they who should be silenced by wisdom not hailed by the public as anything other than ignorance. But I guess one cannot expect a generally ignorant public that believes in such error and failure as is implicit in the idea that Providence is not enough, to wake up just because the truth is right there in front of them. Blindness is not just a case of bad eyesight.

Within the structure, wording, definition, and intent of the "Law" -for example- is support for everything BUT truth. The "acceptable" precepts of proper behavior aren't based on truth as we know it -like YSHWH's teachings of Love, Liberty, Forgiveness, etc. They are totally based in the concepts of 'obedience,' subservience, and control. All based in fear, or the lack of understanding of truth, and the lack of properly-based faith and belief.

The system will never accommodate the truth. It will never abdicate it's power for equality across the board. Even if compromises are managed that create more common sense in such areas as cannabis (and other 'drugs' found in nature) -which would be refreshing at the very least- if we don't act to change the root of this system -which is a misplaced belief in it's veracity and necessity- then tyranny remains, even if we get to smoke pot while being led to the gallows.

They say it is a 'government of the people...etc.' well if so then "The People" better start governing themselves with intelligence, proper ethics, and proper faith/belief type investments, instead of relying on the antiquated, corrupted, and false system of representation that sits on its own throne above common sense, reason, and logic. It feeds its own agenda with little regard for the rest of us, except in political speeches made to psych us into further belief in the failed system -as if the 'vote' represents anything other than a sick joke played on the people over end over with the same, or comparable results every damn time.

It appears on the surface to be one globally-encompassing 'catch 22' that has the masses convinced. Illuminating enough of those masses to wake up, assume responsibility for themselves, and through the tenets of Love cooperate and share in the responsibility of coexistence on plane earth, is the only work that will have an outcome that endures. Only by enlightening a significant number of the people to the truth (and what is obscured by the many systems of misdirection is vast. Huge beyond measure) can there be any real change towards life on earth that is growing, not stagnating, that has the same opportunity for joy and happiness available for ANYONE -not just the elite-.

The catch is that the masses, or a large part of the population believe in it. That's all. If they were able to believe in positive, centropic power, instead of negative entropic manipulation, well my imagination does not stretch that far. (And no one can accuse me of having no imagination and make it stick.) But if it were done miracles would most likely start replacing disasters.

LEGALIZE FREEDOM

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by Dr Ganj on April 08, 2012 at 07:50:16 PT
A Million Dollar Bail
Hope, I agree. Come on. $1,000,000.00 bail for shipping a bale? The US is so filled with over-zealous cops, and prosecutors, I really don't see an end to this mess. I now live in Mexico, where all drugs for personal use is legal. I hope in time Spain, or Mexico will finally legalize cannabis/hemp and put pressure on the US to follow suit. But, there is *so much money* in keeping it illegal, I seriously doubt we will see any change in the laws. Also, even if Colorado votes to go legal, the Feds will simply sue, drag it into federal court like they did with Raich vs. Gonzalez. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Raich

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #7 posted by Hope on April 07, 2012 at 13:15:22 PT
Comment 1
A million dollars bond? My word! How many people did he kill?

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 07, 2012 at 09:08:02 PT
afterburner
PA definitely needs the laws changed.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 07, 2012 at 09:07:15 PT
afterburner
Thank you. That was very nice to read. Today we have a lot of mowing to do but I am glad we have it all to mow.

This is a picture of our pear tree when it was blooming this year.

http://www.greendalerotts.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=152261228

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by afterburner on April 07, 2012 at 08:46:53 PT
Pennsylvania
CA : Tommy Chong, the Unanticipated Warrior | Marijuana.com Tommy Chong had nothing to do with the decision to ship bongs to a head shop in Pennsylvania, which is the "crime" for which he spent nine months in a federal prison. http://www.marijuana.com/threads/ca-tommy-chong-the-unanticipated-warrior.232480/

Has any group targeted Pennsylvania for cannabis law reform? They need it badly. Do they even have the initiative process in Pennsylvania?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by afterburner on April 07, 2012 at 08:36:18 PT
FoM
I thought of your journey to Ohio when I started reading this article. You both were lucky to find a friendlier place to live.

"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/stopping-by-woods-on-a-snowy-evening-2/

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 07, 2012 at 08:29:18 PT
Dr. Ganj
I read that this morning. That is where my husband and I were raised in Berks County. I don't think they have any type of medical marijuana laws back there and they aren't tolerant of marijuana.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by Dr Ganj on April 07, 2012 at 08:05:50 PT
Another Drug War Causality
http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_20346882/humboldt-county-medical-marijuana-dispensary-owner-arrested-pennsylvania

[ Post Comment ]

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