Medical MarijuanaA radical new medical marijuana ordinance was recently passed in Berkeley, California. The city ordinance says that medical marijuana dispensaries must give away no less than 2 percent of the marijuana they carry for free. In order to qualify for the free marijuana program, individuals must earn less than $32,000 per year or be a member of a family of four that is earning less than $46,000 per year.

The law also requires that the free marijuana be of the same quality that paying individuals receive. Qualifying participants of the program can locate a Berkeley marijuana dispensary via a website called Weed Maps. However, at this time, there are only three approved dispensaries in the city.

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card Is Easy in California

Getting a card for medical marijuana use in California is easy for most individuals due to a loophole that allows patients with virtually any chronic condition to qualify. As a result, many doctors have gained a reputation as "pot doctors" and charge patients a fee for giving an examination and providing the marijuana card. These evaluations generally cost approximately $40, and there is a separate fee for the card. As such, individuals trying to receive free medical pot may still have some costs they must pay.

According to Weed Maps, high quality medical marijuana costs as much as $400 per ounce. However, other less potent strains are sold for a more economical price. That said, the new ordinance in Berkeley does not indicate how much pot shall be given to individual participants; therefore, the discretion of how much free marijuana to give to individuals will likely be left up to the dispensary.

Medical Marijuana Is Still Illegal in Most States

Although marijuana has been legalized for medical use in California, in most states and under federal law, it is still considered an illegal drug. Individuals who inadvertently take marijuana across state lines -- and even those who are in possession of the substance inside California -- could be charged under federal law. Those accused of marijuana crimes, be they federal allegations or allegations in another state, will have the right to defend themselves against the crimes in court; however, it is best that medical marijuana users familiarize themselves with state and federal laws now in order to avoid the threat of legal complications in the future.