Berkeley to Offer Free Medical Marijuana for the Poor

Beginning next summer, Berkeley will give out medical marijuana for free to low-income citizens

Beginning next summer, the city of Berkeley, Calif. will offer free medical marijuana to low-income residents.

In August 2015, the city of Berkeley will launch a program in which medical marijuana dispensaries will be required to donate at least two percent of their cannabis to low income residents, reports The New York Times.

The move was reportedly unanimously approved by the City Council, and though the move has unsurprisingly sparked backlash, Berkeley’s mayor, Tom Bates, is not concerned.

“There are some truly compassionate cases that need to have medical marijuana,” Mr. Bates said. “But it’s expensive. You hear stories about people dying from cancer who don’t have the money.”

The city’s new “compassion system” allows city officials to provide low-income residents (less than $32,000 a year) with a supply of medical marijuana. The quality of the cannabis must also be of the same quality that customers pay for.

“I think what we’re seeing now is an evolution towards full legalization,” said Bates. “It’s coming. It may not be in the next few years, but it’s coming.”

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.