It’s been a long, hard fight for advocates of medical cannabis in D.C., but the battle is finally paying off, and people will be better off for it.
According to General manager David Guard, Capital City Care (CCC) – which will be the cities first dispensary among six that are licensed – will be opening in early April.
As with medical cannabis access points in other parts of the country like Colorado, CCC will be offering cannabis in its dried form, as well as medicated bakery items, candies and drinks. They’ll also be selling pipes and bongs, and will have counseling services for those new to medical marijuana.
For D.C. residents who have been fighting for this new law, the victory is sweet, though long overdo.
“They’ve tried to sweep us under the rug for years, ignoring our calls and our vote. With the opening of Capital City Care, democracy is taking over”, said Samantha Bryant, a resident of D.C. who’s attended numerous city council meetings on the issue.
In 1998, voters in D.C. approved a bill legalizing medical cannabis, which was quickly blocked by the government. A decade long political battle took place after, which led to both the legislative branch and President Obama approving legislation in 2009 to remove the ban.
Since then, the process of implementing the new law, which includes the Department of Health issuing special cards for qualified patients, has taken several years, leading up to the expected opening of Capital City Care in April.
This leads to the situation that everyone is intrigued about; neighbors of the White House being able to legally buy and use medical cannabis, while the feds continue to claim that cannabis has no medicinal value, and that its a menace worthy of jailing patients over.
The climate and political attention that this will bring to our nation’s capitol in regards to cannabis policy comes at a vital time. Lawmakers in D.C. are set to discuss the issue on the federal level, as multiple bipartisan bills have been filed to remove cannabis as a schedule 1 controlled substance, and to allow the use of medical cannabis as a defense in federal court.
But looking past the political ramifications of having legalized medical marijuana in Washington D.C., the immediate implication is that patients who seriously need cannabis as a medicine will soon have access to it.
For this, we can’t thank activists in D.C. enough.