Berkeley City Ordinance Would Provide Pot for the Poor

by Salvatore P. Ciulla on November 5, 2014 · 0 comments

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The Berkeley City Council has unanimously approved a city ordinance that would require medical marijuana dispensaries to set aside 2 percent of their product for low-income residents.


So, far most private health insurance plans and Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid, do not cover or subsidize medical marijuana because it is not approved by the FDA and remains illegal under federal law. Some dispensaries do offer discounts for low-income individuals, but patients are still left to pay hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses if medical marijuana is the treatment that works best for them.


The Berkeley City Council has stepped in to help with an ordinance that requires Berkeley dispensaries to set aside the equivalent of 2 percent of what they sell at market prices to provide for free to residents with incomes less than $32,000 a year.


It’s expected that dispensaries may raise prices to account for the new set-aside rule. But council members say there’s no other way to help low-income residents as long as marijuana remains classified as a Schedule 1 substance by the FDA. Other Schedule 1 substances include LSD and heroine.  When the scheduling was introduced as part of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana was still being studied and it’s medicinal properties were not yet known.


The hallmarks of Schedule 1 substances are drugs that are highly addictive, have no known medical use, and pose great harm of death or injury to users. The DEA has recently requested that the FDA re-examine marijuana’s schedule 1 classification, but until it is reclassified, it will remain a controlled substance and illegal under Federal law.


The Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla located in Orange County, California, represents individuals accused of murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and embezzlement, child abuse and domestic violence, narcotics possession and sales, drunk driving (DUI) and vehicular homicide, sexual assault and three strikes cases. We also take Juvenile Court cases and all misdemeanor offenses.


Our mission is to provide the best legal representation and counsel to all clients. Every client and every case is important. Call us at 714-542-0500 for a free analysis of your case and/or charges, or contact us at SalCiullaLaw.com.


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