Free Pot for the Poor: Berkeley Believes in Marijuana Equality

The Berkeley City Council wants local dispensaries to give 2 percent of their cannabis sales to low-income people in need of medical marijuana. Among a big wave of marijuana legislation, this is one of the first ordinances of its kind in the country.

Commonly known as one of the most liberal cities in America, this city’s new law is raising eyebrows even in this neck of the woods. The council voted unanimously for the measure. Supporters of the new law point out that the government already provides either free or lower cost medical services and prescriptions to people who can’t afford it.

Council member Darryl Moore told Reuters:

We want to ensure that those who are in need have access to the medication necessary to treat their condition.

In the news segment above, Moore described the ordinance simply as “free medicine.”

The law defines low-income as people who make half the local median income ($32,000/year for one person and $46,000/year for a family of four). This obviously includes homeless people as well, which is already a concern for residents of the city. There are, however, some dispensaries that have already been doing this for people who desperately need the medical marijuana but cannot afford it.