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 || ||
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:
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.
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:
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: