Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed into law Council Bill 20-0876 late last week. The proposal, titled the Medical Marijuana Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, allows a physician to recommend medical cannabis to anyone they believe will benefit from it, regardless of the underlying condition.
The bill was passed as “emergency legislation”, meaning it will take effect immediately without needing to first go through the Congressional review period that all other D.C. legislation must go through before becoming law. The bill will, however, only stay in effect for 90 days, though legislation to make the change permanent (Council Bill 20-0766) has been introduced by Committee of Health Chair Yvette Alexander, and is cosponsored by the entire D.C. Council. The bill is expected to be approved after the council comes back from recess in September.
Prior to the change, there were only a few conditions that qualified someone in D.C. to become a legal medical cannabis patient, including cancer, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.
Council Bill 20-086 takes effect immediately.