Fw: US RI: Senate Approves Marijuana Dispensaries

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—– Original Message —–
From: "Richard Lake" <rlake@mapinc.org>
To: <opn@ohiopatient.net>
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 9:47 AM
Subject: OPN: US RI: Senate Approves Marijuana Dispensaries

> Newshawk: The Source for Medicinal Marijuana News http://www.mapinc.org
> Pubdate: Fri, 16 May 2008
> Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)
> Webpage: http://drugsense.org/url/G2avjkjp
> Copyright: 2008 The Providence Journal Company
> Contact: letters@projo.com
> Website: http://www.projo.com/
> Author: Steve Peoples, Journal State House Bureau
> Referenced: The bill
> http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText08/SenateText08/S2693Aaa.pdf
> Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Marijuana – Medicinal)
> Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/topic/dispensaries
> PROVIDENCE — The Senate approved legislation yesterday that would create
> "compassion centers" where chronically ill patients enrolled in the
> state’s medical marijuana program could openly purchase the drug.
> Despite the 29-to-6 vote, the bill faces opposition in the House of
> Representatives and is not expected to become law this year.
> "I would really have to have a sock over my head if I didn’t know that,"
> said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Rhoda E. Perry, D-Providence. The
> legislation is named in part for her nephew, Edward O. Hawkins, who died
> of complications from AIDS and cancer.
> "What I think is important is to show movement," Perry said of yesterday’s
> vote. "I think getting it out of a chamber is movement. It’s showing that
> there is a level of understanding and a level of acceptance."
> The General Assembly last year made permanent a law that allowed the state
> to offer a medical marijuana program to chronically ill patients. But
> lawmakers did not offer a legal means for patients to obtain the drug,
> which is considered illegal by the federal government even when
> prescribed.
> "It was sort of the unasked question," said House Majority Leader Gordon
> D. Fox. "Do you send someone that may be suffering from cancer or whatnot
> out into the streets to procure it? I don’t know if that’s necessarily a
> good solution. I think the natural extension of that is that we provide
> some sort of safe place to obtain it for those who are legally
> authorized."
> But Fox couldn’t explain the widespread assumption that the House would
> block it from becoming law.
> "I’m not saying that the leadership’s going to support it," he said. "I’d
> like to read the bill. I haven’t looked at what the bill does."
> The legislation would create licensed marijuana dispensaries, or
> "compassion centers," that would legally grow and sell the drug at
> affordable prices to the 359 patients in the state’s program. The centers
> would be regulated by the state Health Department.
> At least 12 states have laws allowing use of medical marijuana. But
> policies governing dispensaries are more fractured and several states have
> stumbled trying to pass legislation for distribution centers.
> Part of the problem is that federal law still bans marijuana use, even for
> medical purposes. Dozens of dispensaries in California (one of two states
> that allows them) have been raided by the federal government, something
> medical marijuana supporters say they don’t want to see happen in Rhode
> Island.
> ——————————————————————————-
> The views above and/or any links to any outside websites do not
> necessarily
> reflect the views of the Ohio Patient Network, its members or its Board of
> Directors.
> ——————————————————————————-
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> Release Date: 5/16/2008 7:42 AM


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