Medical Marijuana Makes Long Awaited Debut in D.C.

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File photo of medical marijuana. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

File photo of medical marijuana. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The first legal marijuana purchase in the District of Columbia in more than seven decades took place Monday evening.

A 51-year-old, HIV positive man from Northwest purchased the doctor prescribed marijuana in hopes of alleviating insomnia and digestive problems, The Washington Post reports.

RELATED: Names of Docs Prescribing Medical Marijuana Will Not Be Released

The man purchased three varieties of medical marijuana for $250 at Capital City Care, the first of three dispensaries with government clearance to open in the District.

Medically regulated marijuana has garnered large support from city residents for nearly 20 years, but efforts to bring a program to fruition stalled in Congress until 2009.

The District has established strict guidelines for patients to obtain a medical marijuana card. Doctors are prohibited from dispensing a prescription for marijuana if the patient does not have a specific chronic, debilitating condition.

“It’s a culmination of a long process that started with a ballot initiative back in 1998,” Washington Post reporter Mike Debonis tells WNEW. “I think a lot of people are happy tonight that it finally came together.”

All of the marijuana supplied to these dispensaries is locally grown, mostly in Northeast D.C.

Only nine patients and 20 doctors have enrolled in the medical marijuana program as of July 29, according to the report.

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