From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.
Mark Lee at the Washington Blade takes a look at problems facing DC’s medicinal marijuana program. Even proponents of the initiative are criticizing its slow implementation process, as well as its anticipated shortcomings, once it finally does arrive in early 2013.
Lee points out how painstaking the process to bring medicinal marijuana to the District has been up to this point, with many residents waiting – in pain – for well over 10 years now. He notes that citizens groups and other neighborhood leaders have played a role in delaying and limiting the launch of the program.
The result is a program that will produce insufficient product to meet the needs of the patients expected to be eligible, Lee says. Limited availability will affect how affordable the marijuana is, forcing qualified patients to forego the product for cost reasons. Medicinal marijuana is not covered by most health insurance plans.
Additionally, tight regulations for prescribing and distributing the drug will further limit the program’s usefulness to those in need of its services. Lee points out that “the local law is considered the most narrowly structured program in the country.”