Medical Marijuana Makes It Into Law in District

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton successfully pushed the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010 into law Monday.

The law is designed to help patients with illnesses such as cancer, glaucoma or HIV. The bill will allow these people to obtain four ounces of marijuana per month through one of the eight proposed medical marijuana dispensaries.

Norton said the D.C. Council faced numerous attempts to repeal the proposed bill during the 30-day review period that allows any member of Congress to object to a bill the council passes.  However, "… it is D.C.’s business alone to decide how to help patients who live in our city and suffer from chronic pain and incurable illnesses," Norton said. "The Council is to be commended for, not prohibited from, passing a model piece of legislation that allows patients to use controlled amounts of marijuana, for specific medical purposes and only through the written recommendation of a physician, to help improve their quality of life."

A voter initiative was passed by the District in 1998 to bring medical marijuana to the city but was blocked by Congress.

It was reported in June that the medical marijuana bill could bring in approximately $400,000 for the District over the next five years, according to the city. D.C.’s sales tax of 6 percent is likely to be added to the sale of marijuana. Washington’s financial office estimated that about 850 people would fill prescriptions for medical marijuana in 2014.

Fourteen states in the United States also currently have a version of medical marijuana.

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