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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid