News / USA

Medical Marijuana Legal in US Capital

Medical Marijuana Legal in Nation's Capitali
X
October 24, 2013 4:33 PM
Many consider medical marijuana to be one of the most contentious debates in health care today. Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the use of marijuana to help alleviate side effects from a number of diseases and medications. But federal law still defines it as having no medical value and being as addictive as heroin. The Medical Marijuana Program in the nation's capital took 12 years to legalize and more than three years to implement. But though it's now up and running, VOA's Tala Hadavi tells us only a small number of people have signed on.
Tala Hadavi
Many consider medical marijuana to be one of the most contentious debates in health care today.  Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the use of marijuana to help alleviate side effects from a number of diseases and medications.  But federal law still defines it as having no medical value and being as addictive as heroin.  

The Medical Marijuana Program in the nation's capital took 12 years to legalize and more than three years to implement.  But though it's now up and running,

Adam Bartley is on his way to pick up his medicine. After years of being forced to the black market, now he can do it safely and legally. “When I or any of the other patients call and make an appointment, their security greets me at the door and checks the ID’s.  Both my regular government-issued ID and the ID from the department of health for the medical marijuana,” he explains. 

Jeff Kahn owns this dispensary, which just opened after three years of competing for one of the city’s four dispensary permits.  There's been little business so far, but Kahn is not discouraged.  For him, this is a mission. “We want people to know what they’re getting, to be able to make wise choices," he said. "To be able to choose the right medicine and to be able to use it safely.”  

“I have been HIV positive for 23 years and lived with AIDS for many of those.  I’ve taken a great deal of medicine.  Many of them cause a great deal of stomach discomfort, and lack of appetite and nausea," Bartley said.

While medical marijuana is legal here in Washington, it’s still illegal under federal law, so the city is being very careful.

“Every part of the medical marijuana program is under camera, under lock and key and fully recorded from seed to sale,” Kahn stated.

And for potential customers, getting a Medical marijuana ID is not simple.  

"It requires that you contact the department of health only by e-mail.  It requires that you would be able to download, print and fill out a lengthy application and provide documentation and a passport photo.  There’s a $100 application fee,” Bartley explained.

But before any of that you have to have cancer, HIV, AIDS, glaucoma or severe muscle spasms to even qualify.  And a doctor has to fill out another lengthy form, recommending you.  Sakiliba Mines is one of the few doctors in the city who write recommendations.  But she says she was initially cautious. “We cannot reproduce what’s going on in other states where doctors all they do is write recommendations and the patient is out of the door for the year," she added. "I don’t think that’s good medicine.”

Dr. Robert DuPont has advised several administrations on the issue.  He said it would make more sense to refine marijuana into medication instead of smoking it.  But he is fine with the way the city is handling its program.

“I think a limited program that insures that people are really ill and that they’ve tried other treatments and it gives them an amount of marijuana that is reasonable for them to have and not sell to other people or give away is a very good political resolution,” said DuPont.

Right now, only 28 patients have qualified for the program, and that’s not really enough to support the system yet.  

Today’s dose, 10.5 grams, costs about $200.  And none of it is covered by insurance.  But Bartley is happy to support the local economy -- and get his marijuana through legal means.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nichoals D'Ercole from: Scottsdale Arizona
October 29, 2013 6:33 AM
"Today’s dose, 10.5 grams, costs about $200." Wow sounds like he's getting pretty ripped off if you ask me or anyone else for that matter of fact...LOL


by: Timothy Clark from: United States
October 27, 2013 10:21 PM
Tell Mr Kahn to contact me. His neighbor in Baltimore is interested in moving forward in assisting patients here when the law passes

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid