D.C. Legalizes Medical Marijuana

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From the Washington Post:

For doctors such as Pradeep Chopra, long accustomed to prescribing carefully tested medications by the exact milligram, medical marijuana presents a particular conundrum.

On Tuesday, the D.C. Council gave final approval to a bill establishing a legal medical marijuana program. If Congress signs off, District doctors — like their counterparts in 14 states, including Rhode Island, where Chopra works — will be allowed to add pot to the therapies they can recommend to certain patients, who will then eat it, smoke it or vaporize it until they decide they are, well, high enough.

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The exact dosage and means of delivery — as well as the sometimes perplexing process of obtaining a drug that remains illegal under federal law — will be left largely up to the patient. And that, Chopra said, upends the way doctors are used to dispensing medication, giving the strait-laced medical establishment a whiff of the freewheeling world of weed.

Even in states that allow for marijuana’s medical use, doctors cannot write prescriptions for it because of the drug’s status as an illegal substance. Physicians can only recommend it. And they have no control over the quality of the drug their patients acquire.

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