Truth Frequency Radio
Sep 06, 2014

www.alternet.org_2014-09-06_14-51-11Alternet

Berkeley, Calif.’s poorest medical marijuana patients will be getting their weed for free from here on out, thanks to a unanimous vote by their city council. The vote mandates that dispensaries within the city donate two percent of their supply to patients with medical marijuana recommendations who make less than $32,000 a year.

Berkeley’s culture and policies have long embraced pot, and medical clubs dot its streets beside smoke shops. Berkeley’s city council has voted in favor of patient access many times in the past. The city has an ordinance in place making pot possession the lowest law enforcmeent priority, and when the federal government attempted to close down Berkeley Patients Group, the city’s largest dispensary, last year, the city of Berkeley fired back against the feds with a lawsuit.

The move to give low-income patients access to free weed is the first of its kind in the US. The program will launch next August.

Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” freaked out over Berkeley’s vote in a segment titled “Welfare Weed.” Leading the uproar was Bishop Ron Allen, who heads the International Faith Based Coalition, and defending the Berkeley community’s democratic choice was Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.

Allen called the decision “absolutely mind-boggling and absolutely ridiculous,” asking such loaded questions as “Why would Berkeley City Council want to keep their poverty-stricken underserved high, in poverty, and lethargic?” Allen apparently is unaware that medical marijuana comes in non-psychoactive forms and can mitigate the symptoms of cancer, epilepsy and other serious illnesses. Tvert pointed out that this was a democratic community decision:

“I think that we need to look at this for what it is. Medical marijuana is legal in California, and according to the polls 85 percent of Americans, according to Fox News’ last poll, support medical marijuana and it’s up to the community to decide if they’d like to have a program that allows low income individuals to have access to it. That’s really their decision. It’s a matter of the democratic process, people following the state’s laws, and this law appears to accommodate both of those.”

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April M. Short is an associate editor at AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @AprilMShort.

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