For most states (29 to be exact), a doctor referral and registration card are required to access medical marijuana. And our nation’s capital is no exception, which doesn’t sit well for one DC lawmaker.
Councilmember David Grosso wants to cut all the red tape and allow patients to self-certify. Under his proposed bill, the Medical Marijuana Improvement Amendment Act of 2017, patients would have easy access to medical marijuana just like any other medication.
It’s part of his plan to address the opioid crisis. In a statement, Grosso says:
Medical marijuana has been shown to be a viable alternative to the prescription of opioid painkillers, which can set people down the path to addiction. While we have made significant improvements to our medical marijuana program here in D.C., there is more we can do to improve access for patients and reduce opioid reliance and overdose.
Being able to self-certify means patients would be able to skip the time-suck of having to meet with their primary care physician, fill out all the necessary paperwork, and wait for the government to issue them a medical marijuana card.
Improving access makes sense when we are in the midst of an opioid overdose crisis…
— David Grosso (@cmdgrosso) September 19, 2017
They could instead “simply visit dispensaries and present a signed affidavit affirming that they use cannabis ‘explicitly for medical purposes,’ are over 21 years of age, and are aware of local and federal marijuana laws.”
The bill would also allow medical cannabis dispensaries to open areas where patients could consume marijuana together socially.
Grosso’s press release also pointed out that medical marijuana programs have been proven to reduce opioid overdose death rates by as much as 25 percent.
The councilman co-introduce two other opioid focused bills: Opioid Abuse Treatment Act of 2017 and the Opioid Overdose Prevention Act of 2017.