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Washington, D.C., Approves Medical Use of Marijuana By Ashley Southall – The New York Times, May 5, 2010
|| 5/5/2010 || 8:07 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Screen grab of Washington, D.C., Approves Medical Use of Marijuana By Ashley Southall - The New York Times, May 5, 2010

Today my names appears for the first time in the New York Times:

Nikolas Schiller, the secretary of the D.C. Patients’ Cooperative, a nonprofit group that advocates legal medical marijuana, said the amendments would have clarified ambiguities in the bill. He pointed to an example of a Wal-Mart worker in Michigan, where medical marijuana is legal, who was fired in March after he tested positive for the drug, which he used to cope with sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.

“We asked the Council to introduce the protection for that and they refused to,” Mr. Schiller said. “And it was very infuriating to sit and watch the best practices from other states, other jurisdictions be ignored.”

Although Ashley recorded a much longer interview with me after the District Council’s final vote, I am happy (read: not infuriated) with how this article is written. I wish she could have highlighted some of the more important issues I spoke to her about. Regardless, I am still disappointed the Councilmembers voted to create one of the most restrictive medical cannabis programs in the country. The reality is that Congress already approved a more liberal version earlier this year and these amendments are far away from the original intent of District residents. The next Congress can take the program away, so why not legislate to create the very best program in the country modeled off of what works? I am sad to say that without home cultivation and limiting growers to 95 plants, the program is going to have some problems, but I hope, in time, we can fix them.

Anyways, yesterday’s vote was an important start, but there is a long way to go…

Read the entire article:

+ MORE



Drug War Chronicle Issue #629 – Feature: Mixed Reactions to DC City Council’s Medical Marijuana Regulations
|| 4/23/2010 || 10:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I am interviewed in today’s edition of the Drug War Chronicle:

While many medical marijuana supporters are happy with the measure, others fear it is so restrictive it will defeat its purpose. “We’re happy that they passed it — some cities have yet to enact any legislation — but we have some concerns with the language that is currently in there,” said Nikolas Schiller, secretary for the DC Patients’ Co-op and member of Americans for Safe Access DC chapter. “There is no home cultivation for patients. In 1998, District residents voted legal cultivation at home, but this measure removes that language,” he said.

Continue reading:

+ MORE



D.C. Medical Marijuana Law Enacted then Temporarily Suspended by District Council
|| 3/2/2010 || 2:07 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

I am quoted in this press release from Americans For Safe Access.
+ Click here to join the Washington, DC Facebook Group


+ MORE



My Testimony Given Before The District Council Concerning The Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative Amendment Act of 2010
|| 2/23/2010 || 11:50 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Earlier today I testified at the hearing concerning the amendments to Initiative 59. In order to fit in the 3 minutes that I was allotted, I gave a shortened version of the text below:

+ MORE



Suggested Revisions to the “Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative Amendment Act of 2010” by the Washington, DC Chapter of Americans For Safe Access
|| 2/21/2010 || 2:16 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

Earlier this month I, along with 10 other District residents, founded the Washington, DC Chapter of Americans For Safe Access, which is America’s largest patient advocacy organization with over 50,000 members. Since Congress had prevented Initiative 59 from becoming law for so long, there has never been the opportunity for the local chapter to form. Over the last couple weeks we’ve met a few times and have deconstructed the amendments to Initiative 59. Below is the official position of the Washington, DC ASA Chapter concerning the amendments:

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Draft Text of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative Amendment Act of 2010
|| 2/20/2010 || 1:47 pm || Comments Off on Draft Text of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative Amendment Act of 2010 || ||

The draft text of the legislation printed below was amended before it was ultimately passed by the District Council and sent to Congress for review.

Please click here to view the final enrolled version of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative Amendment Act of 2010.






I am having to cut my West Coast research trip short to fly back to Washington, DC in order testify at the hearing related to amendments to Initiative 59. Since Initiative 59 was written over a decade ago, the District Council feels that it should be amended before becoming law.

+ click here to download the amendments as a PDF
+ click here to read the original text of Initiative 59
+ click here to read suggested amendments to the language below

Below is the text of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative Amendment Act of 2010 as of January 19, 2010:

+ MORE



New Facebook Group: Medical Marijuana Patients of the District of Columbia
|| 12/9/2009 || 11:24 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

For the last 10 years, every District of Columbia appropriations bill passed by Congress has included this line of tyrannical text: Provides that the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998, also known as Initiative 59, approved by the electors of the District on November 3, 1998, shall not take effect. With the long-awaited news that Congress has finally decided to remove this line of text, I’ve created a new Facebook Group Medical Marijuana Patients of the District of Columbia:

After over 10 years of a congressionally imposed ban on medical marijuana in the District of Columbia, the passage of Ballot Initiative 59, known as the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998, *should* go into effect very shortly.

The Facebook Group “Medical Marijuana Patients of the District of Columbia” was created to help advance, advocate, and agitate for the responsible implementation of this important healthcare reform in the District of Columbia.

Until the legislation becomes law, the members of this group are not *yet* legal medical marijuana recipients. However this group is open to everyone, including those who plan on becoming patients in the near future and want to ensure they can find the cannabis that meets their medical needs when the laws are officially changed.

We hope this group can engender the support of everyone who believes in safe, legal, and affordable medical marijuana in the District of Columbia.

While I don’t expect the laws to be changed overnight, my aim is to create an informal body of concerned citizens who will help ensure that the law is implemented in a way that benefits those who need medical marijuana most. I imagine this change in the law is going to be a big can of worms that many elected officials are going to try to step lightly around, so it’s somewhat important that there is an organized group of concerned citizens willing to make sure that the law is enacted properly.


So what will medical marijuana look like in the District of Columbia? I don’t know yet. Hopefully its similar to Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California, which is one of the best dispensaries in California. I think they have created a model that can easily be replicated in Washington. Watch their well-produced YouTube video to get a better idea of how medical marijuana can be dispensed:


[Watch On YouTube]

Below is the legislative text of Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998. It was originally passed with the support of 69% of the voters in the District of Columbia:

+ MORE





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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  • thank you,
    come again!