The legislation, which has been referred to both the Health and Public Safety and Judiciary committees, would allow the dispensaries to distribute up to a month's supply of marijuana to either to patients or their registered caregivers. Although patients would have to pay for the drug, the legislation requires providers to supply low-income patients with marijuana at a reduced price.Although fourteen states have already permitted the use of medical marijuana, including California, Michigan, and New Jersey, Washington DC would be the most high-profile location on the list and could act as a catalyst in advancing pending medical marijuana bills in states such as Alabama, Illinois, and New York. Catania's bill would leave it up to the District's local government to outline the rules, the Washington Post reports.
Catania's measure calls for the mayor's office and the Department of Health to set most of the regulations for how the city's medical marijuana policy would work. The Health Department, for example, will have to establish a list of medical conditions that can qualify a patient for a doctor's prescription to obtain the drug.Even though the bill could facilitate referendums on medical marijuana in other states, the immediate impact on colleges and universities in the District would be minimal. As part of the bill, no dispensary can be within 1,000 feet of any school and it is unrealistic to believe at this present time that any educational institution would allow the use of marijuana in dormitories.