The Marijuana Dispatch

D.C. Medical Marijuana Leaves Patients in Need

The city’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened in July, but since then only 120 patients have been approved for use of the drug. Fiscal impact statements from the city’s chief financial officer indicate officials had expected to process applications for 800 patients within the first year of the program, with enrollment increasing by 50 percent each year after that.

Only 15% of people signed up for medical marijuana that could have. Six months after medical marijuana became available in DC only 15% of people decided to participate. Now council members want to broadening the list of conditions so more people can get help from medical cannabis.

DC’s tightly regulated program only covers four illnesses for medical marijuana: HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and conditions characterized by severe and persistent muscle spasms, such as multiple sclerosis. Other states allowing for a wider set of qualifying conditions like epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and Crohn’s disease. I’m surprised this is so limited, but now seems like a good time to expand the program while other states are mounting similar plans.

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