Many CA Residents Worry About Cost of Marijuana ID Card

February 11, 2007

Dave Padilla, KCBS radio (San Francisco)

An impending state increase in the cost of medical marijuana identification cards has both county health officials and medicinal marijuana users in Contra Costa concerned about its potential financial impact.

Medical marijuana users in Contra Costa say the impending increase in the state-issued cards could "break the bank" for those living on fixed incomes.

Contra Costa's Director of Communicable Disease Control Francie Wise told KCBS' Dave Padilla the ID cards will cost substantially more, beginning March First.

In the county, the cost of a card will rise from $75 to more than $200 and that's not including the purchase of the medicinal marijuana.

"Well, my concern about the increase in fees for the medical marijuana program is that people who have very little money or who have a fixed income are not going to be able to get one of the cards," said Wise.

One medicinal marijuana user who was leaving a dispensary in Pacheco said the impending increase will have an adverse impact on his bottom-line.

"I'm getting by on a very thin thread now. I'll have to do it myself or do it illegally."

He also said he foresees other medicinal marijuana users going to the streets to buy their supply, adding that route could be dangerous for many, including the elderly.

The increase is affecting all medical marijuana dispensaries in California that are part of the state program.

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