Science Friday is airing right now (the 2 o’clock hour on Friday) on Rhode Island Public Radio. (Listen now.) The topic is the medical value of marijuana; a federal appeals court is set to hear arguments about its value next week. Host Ira Flatow is talking to an oncologist and a microbiologist about it. Fascinating.
Especially in light of recent events in Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program. In case you missed it, the Dept. of Health recently revoked the right of nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to “certify” patients as eligible for the program – or, essentially, to sign their paperwork. It was a sudden reversal in a program that’s already six years old. The ACLU is suing on behalf of a patient whose medical marijuana claim was denied by the department on the back of its having been signed by someone other than a physician.
No word yet on when “compassion centers” will be allowed to open. These are the medical marijuana dispensaries that have gotten most of the green lights they need to start operating but are waiting for the state to issue some final regulations.
Perhaps the federal case will play a role in moving Rhode Island’s program in one direction or another.