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D.C. Moves Quickly to Allow Medical Marijuana

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The District of Columbia will soon implement the medical-marijuana program approved by voters a decade ago but long blocked by Congress, the Washington Post reported Dec. 15.

“We’ve waited 10 years,” said D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray.  “There is no reason to sit on it.” However, Attorney General Peter Nickles said that the language in the measure is so old that it may need to be updated, and also suggested that Congress would still need to approve the proposal.

Congress recently voted to remove restrictions on D.C. spending tax money to implement medical-marijuana and needle-exchange programs. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said no further Congressional approval would be needed to put the medical-marijuana law into effect.

“Congress thought they were simply taking the ban off and the District would simply proceed or not proceed,” Norton said. “After all we have gone through, I can tell you, the Congress is not anxious to see this issue here again. It’s taken me 10 years.”

Still unanswered is the question of who should grow and distribute marijuana to medical users in D.C.

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