Medical Marijuana Advocates Say D.C. Pot Bill Needs Changes

May 09, 2010

Patrick Madden, NBC News Washington, DC

Medical marijuana advocates are making a last-minute effort to amend a D.C. bill that legalizes the drug for chronically ill patients.

Tomorrow the city council is expected to take its final vote on the medical marijuana bill. Advocates for medical marijuana say the proposed measure is too restrictive and they want to see a number of changes, including doubling or tripling the amount of marijuana a patient can possess per month.

Advocates also want to make sure there are civil protections for patients using medical marijuana, for example, protecting someone getting fired for failing a drug test at work.

"Everyone says this is D.C. and we have to be careful of Congress' interpretation and as patients we think that’s great, but it also doesn’t makes sense to pass a law that is going to work for anyone," says Steph Sherer, director of Americans For Safe Access.

The bill’s co-sponsor, D.C. Councilmember Phil Mendelson, says it’s unlikely there will be any major changes to the legislation.

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