Low-income medical marijuana users can get free weed in California now

And activists say it’s needed as calls grow for greater access to cannabis to fight the opioid epidemic

By Kieran Delamont

2019-10-16

California has signed a bill into law that makes its weed regime the leader in compassion. The bill was one of three passed over the weekend. It will allow medical dispensaries to give free weed to patients in need. 

The move corrects one of the ways that legalization actually rolled back patient access.

In many compassion clubs, patients who need it are given free weed. These programs became prominent during the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s. It was the only way in many cases to get medicine to people who couldn’t afford it.

Legalization, with its tentacles of taxation, closed that door. Bill SB-34 opens it back up. And activists say it’s needed as calls grow for greater access to cannabis to fight the opioid epidemic. 

That said, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed terminally ill patients to use cannabis in care facilities. The move was criticized by cannabis advocacy groups. But Forbes notes that may have risked hospitals losing Medicare and Medicaid funding. 

 

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