Berkeley to Dispensaries: Give Free Pot to the Poor
City council votes for 2% giveaway
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2014 2:27 AM CDT
Marijuana advocate Debby Goldsberry founded Berkeley Patients Group, one of the Bay Area's first marijuana dispensaries.   (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – It might sound like a slogan from the student radicals the city was famous for in the '60s, but Berkeley, Calif., really is giving free pot to the poor. The city council voted unanimously on Tuesday to order medical marijuana dispensaries to give at least 2% of their pot to people on low incomes. "It's an equity issue," a council member tells Reuters. "We want to ensure that those who are in need have access to the medication necessary to treat their condition."

The new law defines low income as people who make less than half the area's median income of $32,000, and stipulates that those getting free weed must have a medical marijuana card or referral from a doctor. The plan also requires the free marijuana to be of the same quality as that dispensed to regular customers, CBS reports. The council also voted to change the law to allow Berkeley to have four marijuana dispensaries instead of three. One of the three, the Berkeley Patients Group, has already been giving free pot to the poor for at least 15 years.