Free Medical Marijuana For Some Berkeley, Calif. Residents

Berkeley city council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring dispensaries to give away a portion of the marijuana they sell each year.

Free Medical Marijuana For Some Berkeley, Calif. Residents
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Some residents of Berkeley, California could have a hazy future. (Via Getty Images)  

The city council just passed an ordinance that would allow the homeless and people with "very low-incomes" to obtain medical marijuana for free.

"The vote by city council was unanimous ... you have to be a Berkley resident to qualify." (Via ABC)

According to the ordinance, dispensaries must give at least two percent of however much marijuana they sell each year to residents at no cost — and it has to be the same quality as the weed they sell. Very low-income is considered $32,000 a year for one person and $46,000 for a family of four. In order to qualify the individual must have a medical marijuana card. (Via City of Berkeley)

"When you are really ill or have a serious illness ... it can be hard to work, it can be hard to maintain a job. And when that happens, your finances suffer and you can't buy the medicine that you need." (Via KNTV)

There are currently three permitted dispensaries in the city of 112,00 people. And as the new ordinance was approved and city looks into opening a fourth dispensary — the federal government is trying to shut one down. 

US Attorney Melinda Haag, along with three other US attorneys in California, are spearheading the effort – claiming shutting down dispensaries is an attempt to protect communities. (Via U.S. Department of Justice

However, according to East Bay Express, the city claims a shutdown could mean a big loss for taxpayers and would actually harm the community. According to the city's legal claim, "The closure of Berkeley Patients Group will likely lead to an increased number of unregulated, unpermitted dispensaries and an increased number of illicit marijuana sales on Berkeley streets negatively impacting Berkeley neighborhoods and the business community."

Berkeley Patients Group is due in court this winter. As far as the new ordinance, it's currently awaiting final approval but could become law as early as August.