PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - A bill that would allow nonprofit stores in Rhode Island to sellmarijuana to medical patients is headed to the governor's desk. Thestate Senate passed the bill Tuesday afternoon by a 30-2margin.
If it becomes law, the bill would allow so-called compassioncenters to sell marijuana to registered patients with debilitatingillnesses. Right now, 680 patients are registered with the Department of Health's medical marijuanaprogram.
State lawmakers approved the use of
“Sick patients and their caregivers shouldn’t haveto risk their safety and deal with criminals to get the relief theyneed,” said bill sponsor Senator Rhoda Perry (D-Dist. 3, Providence).“Rhode Island was compassionate enough a few years ago torecognize the benefit of marijuana for those who are suffering, andI’m proud that we’re now taking the next logical andnecessary step and recognizing that patients need a safe, legalmeans to get it.”
Governor Carcieri has a week to either sign the legislation orveto it. If he does nothing, the bill will automatically become lawwithout his signature. The legislation passed each chamber withsignificantly more than the three-fifths majority necessary tooverride a veto.
In the US, fourteen states have recognized medical marijuana:Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Michigan,Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont andWashington; although California is currently the only stateto utilize "dispensaries" to sell medical cannabis. There arecurrently five other US states considering medical marijuana billsin their state legislatures: Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire,New Jersey and New York. South Dakota also has several petitions ininterest of medical marijuana legalization.
UPDATE: The owner of a debris-covered South Providence lot that was recently fined by the city receives just under $170,000 per month.
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A fire broke out early Wednesday evening at the Amtrol building on Division Road in West Warwick.
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