Legalize, Or At Least Discount, It: The District’s medicinal marijuana program is moving along, albeit not as quickly as some might like. But what about those of us who don’t qualify under the strict regulations? Turns out we’re overpaying for pot. A study by Floating Sheep published in Wired this month found D.C. pays, on average, $460.70 per ounce of the non-medical stuff—more than anyone in any state. The lowest prices were in Oregon, at $255.80 per ounce. In the area, Maryland paid $436.30, and Virginia $411.90. Somehow we don’t suspect Gov. Bob McDonell will be attributing that stat to his allegedly pro-business policies. -2

Bumper For Life: Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry has had his fair share of problems with cars, from registering to parking. Now his ride has more existential trouble. Barry drove up to the Wilson Building today with the bumper on his Jaguar hanging off the car. He told reporters he’d been hit a few weeks ago by a stolen car making a quick getaway, and that “when you live in the ghetto, all this happens.” At least the car isn’t leased by the D.C. government, in which case we’d all be on the hook for the repairs. -1

Power To The People: There’s a reason they don’t build massive coal-burning power plants in the middle of densely populated neighborhoods anymore. Admittedly, that reason is that the land the power plants might occupy is more valuable as the site of condos and luxury boutiques than as a place to generate electricity. But burning coal isn’t the healthiest thing you can do for the people nearby, either, so the news that Alexandria’s Mirant facility, operated by GenOn Energy, will close next October is welcome for anyone sick of breathing ash. No word yet on what price the condos that will, inevitably, wind up in the building will fetch. +3

Canned Food Frenzy: Spooked by the earthquake, many Washingtonians decided disaster preparedness was no laughing matter as Hurricane Irene approached, as anyone who made the mistake of setting foot anywhere near a grocery store (or Costco) Friday or Saturday can testify. But since the storm’s fury was a little softer than expected, most of the stockpiled food people bought up wasn’t needed. No need to binge on sardines or potato chips, though; area food banks say they’ll happily accept your non-perishables. +2

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 55 Today’s score: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 57