Though the individual reasons for homelessness and extreme poverty are varied, it is clear that a tendency toward substance abuse is high among the nation’s most destitute citizens. In a National Coalition for the Homeless survey of 25 mayors, for example, a full 68 percent cited drug addiction as the most prevalent cause of homelessness among single adults.
Nevertheless, lawmakers in the leftist bastion of Berkeley, Calif. recently voted to provide its poorest residents with free marijuana. Granted, the drug will come from medical marijuana facilities; however, reports indicate that a license to purchase from these locations is incredibly easy to obtain.
With no apparent regard for such evidence, however, Councilman Darryl Moore suggested that providing pot to the city’s poor should be a top priority. Furthermore, the dispensaries will not be allowed to skimp, as the ruling requires facilities to provide the same high-quality cannabis it offers paying customers.
“Basically, the city council wants to make sure that low-income, homeless, indigent folks have access to their medical marijuana,” he said, “their medicine.”
He went on to assert that increasing drug abuse among the homeless population “is the responsible thing to do for those less fortunate in our community.”
Among the marijuana-related ordinances passed this week – which also included permission for the establishment of yet another facility with Berkeley – was the requirement that dispensaries set aside two percent of their product to give away to poor pot smokers.
The policy makes sense to the operators of one facility, which has independently abided by a similar dedication to provide the poor with pot for the past 15 years.
“We’ve found out over the years that one of the cruel realities is that when you do get sick and you have a serious illness is that it’s often hard to keep a job, can be hard to keep your income up,” said Berkeley Patients Group’s Sean Luse; “so those people really need the help the most.”
As might be expected, however, the decision elicited significant social media banter.
Berkeley is considering a law to require pot dispensaries to give away pot to low income families (under $46,000 a year). No, really.
— Scott McGrew (@ScottMcGrew) July 3, 2014
— Marjorie Haun (@Reagan_Girl) July 3, 2014
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) July 2, 2014
Thought paying for birth control was bad? Law Requires Dispensaries To Provide Free Pot to Low Income Patients… http://t.co/zIDdlO57aA
— Carmine Zozzora (@CarmineZozzora) July 2, 2014
Photo credit: Prensa 420 (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom