DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: At a joint committee hearing of the D.C. Council today, several public witnesses testified in favor of two new bills they believe would greatly improve the city’s medical marijuana laws.
The Committee on Health, chaired by Councilmember Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), and the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, chaired by Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), held a joint public hearing to let the public weigh in on the proposed amendments. The first bill proposes an amendment that would allow any medical marijuana cultivation center to possess up to 500 living marijuana plants at any given time. Currently, cultivation centers are only allowed to grow 95 plants. A second bill would expand the list of qualifying conditions able to receive a medical marijuana recommendation to “allow physicians to determine whether a patient would benefit from medical marijuana treatment.”
Under D.C.’s current medical marijuana laws, only patients suffering from HIV or AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, or severe muscle spasms are eligible to receive recommendations. Under the new amendment, which was introduced by Alexander and Councilmember David Gross (I-At Large), there would be no restrictions as to what conditions are eligible for a medical marijuana recommendation, instead leaving it to a doctor’s judgement to determine if that’s the best course of treatment.