medical marijuana

 A Rhode Island Superior Court judge will allow an employment discrimination case involving medical marijuana to go forward. The case hinges on a University of Rhode Island student’s summer job and her status as a medical marijuana cardholder.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to hear a slate of bills Tuesday about marijuana.  One bill would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Rhode Island.

Lawmakers will once again consider legalizing the use and possession of marijuana for adults over 21. The idea is to regulate and tax the drug like alcohol. Proponents say that would cut down jail time for small-time offenders and increase state revenue.

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A push to legalize marijuana – once again – has returned to the Statehouse.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses what has become a perennial issue.

Except for speeding on Rhode Island’s roads, is there a law more frequently scoffed at by citizens than the ban on recreational use of marijuana?
As the General Assembly again tackles the prickly issue of legalizing marijuana, it is well beyond the time for rigorous study of a policy that too often devolves into cliché and anecdotal opinion.

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The House Judiciary Committee is slated to hear Wednesday a series of bills about marijuana.

One bill proposes to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over.  The drug would be regulated and taxed like alcohol, which proponents say would bring in new tax revenue for the state.  But opponents point to the potential negative impact on health and public safety.

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Brown University hosts a forum Tuesday on legalizing marijuana. The event will feature doctors and researchers with perspective on the health effects of marijuana. 

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Several caregivers and patients participating in the state's medical marijuana program have reached out to me recently, offering to educate me about their role and the benefits of the program.

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A bill that would eliminate caregivers from the state’s medical marijuana program continues to stir up controversy. But a lobbyist behind the bill says his client simply wants more regulation of the medical marijuana industry.

So-called caregivers are allowed to grow a small number of medical marijuana plants for a few patients. They’ve launched a campaign to discredit a bill that would replace caregivers with two growing and distribution centers. Lobbyist Peter Petrarca denies claims the bill would only benefit his client, Rhode Island Growers and Distributors LLC.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

State Police are raising concerns about the state’s medical marijuana program. At issue is the role of caregivers, who are licensed by the state to grow a small number of plants for medical marijuana patients.

Rhode Island State Police spokesman Major Kevin O’Brien says last year police searched the homes of 21 caregivers. More than three-quarters of them were growing more marijuana than the law allows.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Advocates for patients who use medical marijuana are protesting a new bill that would quash a key component of the state’s medical marijuana program. The new bill would eliminate caregivers.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In the past few weeks, two medical marijuana patients in Rhode Island have faced legal problems arising from their use of the substance. The cases hinge on a conflict between federal and state laws. Now, new federal legislation seeks to address the problem.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Rhode Island lawmakers have once again introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Proponents want to tax and regulate the drug like alcohol.

Lawmakers have been trying to pass marijuana legalization laws for years. This time they can point to the experiences of several other states that have already passed such laws. The Senate bill would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to have up to an ounce of pot, or grow a couple of plants at home. It would also allow retailers to sell marijuana, as long as they include a safety warning.

John Bender / RIPR

The state’s first medical marijuana vapor lounge opened this weekend in Providence, but the legality of the lounge remains murky.

Elevated Vapor Lounge, located in downtown Providence opened Saturday.  Rhode Island medical marijuana patients can utilize the space to vaporize their doctor prescribed product.  And since state law bans smoking indoors, vaporizing is only thing allowed.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2006. Federal law continues to ban its sale.

A University of Rhode Island student has sued a Rhode Island textile company for denying her an internship. The suit claims discrimination based on the student’s status as a medical marijuana cardholder.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Republican State Senator Dawson Hodgson is challenging incumbent Attorney general Peter Kilmartin. As part of our election coverage, Rhody Votes ’14, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch  sat down with Hodgson to talk about open records, strengthening gun laws and legalizing marijuana.

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State lawmakers are scheduled to consider several marijuana-related bills this evening. At issue is expanding access to medical marijuana and, once again, legalizing the drug for anyone over the age of 21.

Seven marijuana-related bills are before the House Committee on Judiciary. One would legalize marijuana for all adults, regulating it like alcohol and taxing sales. That’s been proposed before and failed, but other states have since legalized it.