- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Call it compassionate distribution, but City Council members for the liberal enclave of Berkeley, California, just passed an ordinance mandating medical marijuana dispensaries set aside 2 percent of their product stashes to distribute to low-income users for free.

Low income is defined as individuals who earn less than $32,000 a year, or families of four who make less than $46,000 a year, Sunshine State News reported.

“That’s the craziest thing I ever heard of,” said Janelle Freeman, an Ocala mother with three children who opposes any sort of legal marijuana distribution or sales in her state of Florida. “There are so many medicines out there that are tried and true and tested, and they certainly aren’t free. How does pot get put ahead of all the others?”

The Examiner reported that the ordnance is the first of its kind in the nation, and comes at a time when other states — including Florida — are struggling to decide how best to deal with petitions to legalize the drug for both medical and recreational uses.

Medical marijuana has been legal in California for year. But the price is high; an ounce sells for about $400 and a gram for about $15, Sunshine State News reported.

City Council members said that low-income individuals with chronic illnesses could not afford the drug.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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