On April 12, 2012, the D.C. Department of Health announced that four medical marijuana dispensaries have received preliminary approval to open – probably by this summer.
Meanwhile, in Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley and his Department of Health, have backed down in the face of federal threats to stop medical marijuana, even for the sickest patients.
The four D.C. winners were chosen out of an initial pool of 18 applications, some of which may still win approval later. Now, the initial four must win approval from their local ANC’s. DC dispensaries will not be permitted to sell medical marijuana to Maryland residents.
The four proposed locations are in Northwest on the 1100 block of 20th Street, in Southeast, on Barracks Row/Capital Hill, in Takoma Park, in the 6900 block of Blair Road, and on North Capital Street, near the intersection of New York Avenue.
The dispensaries will be licensed to provide medical marijuana to a select group of patients with serious medical conditions for which marijuana has shown to be effective, including cancer, glaucoma, MS, and HIV/AIDS.
However, marijuana remains illegal under federal law for any purpose, including medical treatment. The feds believe – and courts have upheld – treating marijuana as a substance which has no accepted medical uses.
The Obama Justice Department has gone after medical marijuana dispensaries in California, Colorado,
and the 14 other states which have passed laws allowing marijuana for medical use.
Only time will tell whether seriously ill patients in DC will be permitted safe access to medical marijuana, or whether they will be forced to continue to rely on illegal street dealers. But at least DC is trying. In Maryland, Gov. O’Malley isn’t.
Categories: medical marijuana