State police head wants info on med marijuana patients, growers

Providence, RI – By MEGAN HALL
The head of the Rhode Island State police wants his officers to have access to information about the state's medical marijuana patients and caregivers.

Colonel Steven O'Donnell says state police should be able to check if Rhode Islanders under criminal investigations are legally authorized to grow medical marijuana to avoid unneccesary raids.

Joanne Leppanen with the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition says she's wary about violating the privacy of patients and caregivers. But if the information was used sparingly, she might be interested.

"In the event the release of information could save a patient or caregiver from the trauma of being raided by the police, that's something we'd be interested in looking at," she says.

Leppanen says she'd have to see any plan in writing before she offers any support.

Currently, medical marijuana patients may grow up to twelve mature plants for their own use or designate a caregiver to raise the weed for them.

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