WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Advocates Protest Slow Progress On Medical Marijuana Program

Play associated audio
Protesters say the pace of medical marijuana implementation in D.C. is for the dogs.
Jessica Gould
Protesters say the pace of medical marijuana implementation in D.C. is for the dogs.

Advocates are calling on D.C. officials to speed up implementation of the city's medical marijuana program.

Wielding signs that said "Sick and Tired of Waiting" and "Protect Cancer Patients," about a dozen medical marijuana activists protested outside the D.C. Department of Health today.

Kayley Whalen, with the group Safe Access DC, helped organize the demonstration: "We are here to stand up for medical marijuana patients who are waiting to register for D.C. medical marijuana program."

Whalen says she has struggled her whole life with severe gastrointestinal problems that often renders her unable to walk or sit up. Despite considering herself straight edge most of her life, swearing off drugs and alcohol, she found that marijuana was an effective way to deal treat her symptoms.

"And I found it relieved the nausea, it relieved the pain so much better than any prescribed medicines," says Whalen.

Now two years after the D.C. Council passed legislation legalizing medical marijuana, Whalen says she and fellow patients are frustrated that they aren't able to access cannabis.

In 2010, D.C. Council passed legislation legalizing the use of medical marijuana by chronically ill patients who receive a prescription from a doctor and buy it from a city-sanctioned distribution center. But Whalen says the process is moving too slowly for the seriously ill.

"We are asking the D.C. Department of Health why no patients have been registered yet," said Whalen.

In March, the Health Department selected six companies to establish cultivation centers. Agency director Mohammed Akhter tells the Washington Post the city will have dispensaries up and running within the next several months.

NPR

Check Out This 1999 Profile Of The Late, Great Juan Gabriel

Juan Gabriel stayed true to his roots, even when it wasn't easy. This LA Times piece takes a look at why that was.
NPR

Northeast Farmers Grapple With Worst Drought In More Than A Decade

This year, many fields are bone dry — and that has many farmers in the region thinking about how to manage their land, their animals and the water that is there.
WAMU 88.5

State Taxes, School Budgets And The Quality Of Public Education

Budget cutbacks have made it impossible for many states to finance their public schools. But some have bucked the trend by increasing taxes and earmarking those funds for education. Taxes, spending and the quality of public education.

NPR

Scientists Looking For Alien Life Investigate 'Interesting' Signal From Space

Russian astronomers detected an unusual radio signal last year. The SETI Institute says it's too soon to say whether the signal came from intelligent life-forms — but researchers are checking it out.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.