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News Link • Drugs and Medications

Berkeley Turns Medical Marijuana From a Treatment to an Obligation

• http://reason.com, Scott Shackford

The city of Berkeley will require medical marijuana dispensaries to give away two percent of the amount of cannabis they sell each year free to low-income patients.

The City Council voted unanimously at Tuesday's meeting to amend the city's medical pot rules, which would also allow for a fourth dispensary in Berkeley.

"Basically, the city council wants to make sure that low-income, homeless, indigent folks have access to their medical marijuana, their medicine," said Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore.

Under the proposal, at least two percent of all medical weed dispensed at a club would have to be provided at no cost to very low-income members — and it must be the same quality that's dispensed to regular paying customers.

Not only is it intrusive regulation, it's probably also unnecessary. KCBS points out that one local dispensary, the Berkeley Patients Group, has been giving away free marijuana to the poor and has been for 15 years, but they'll actually have to increase the amount in order to comply with this rule.

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