medical marijuana

Dank Depot / flickr/Creative Commons License

With all the focus on the ugly, roller-coaster presidential campaign, a referendum closer to Rhode Island’s borders hasn’t received much media attention in the waning days of the campaign. That would be the Massachusetts ballot question that would legalize recreational marijuana, which voters consider on Tuesday.

The latest public opinion survey for WBUR, Boston’s npr affiliate, shows a 15-point gap in favor of making the weed legal. The poll, conducted by MassINC, showed 55 percent in favor and 40 percent opposed.

Dank Depot/flickr / Creative Commons License

A new poll from Boston public radio station WBUR finds growing support for a ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana. In Rhode Island, advocates have pushed for a similar measure, but some local lawmakers say they will wait to see what happens in the Bay State before taking up the issue.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island, including stories about addiction treatment, intellectual disabilities, medical marijuana, outdoor recreation, antibiotic resistance, and more:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Medical marijuana advocates are praising the House Finance committee for changes to the state’s medical marijuana program, including the reduction of a steep new fee on marijuana plants.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Medical marijuana patients are speaking out against what they're calling a tax on marijuana plants. Patients say they’re concerned the marijuana will become unaffordable.

The Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition and the ACLU of Rhode Island are asking Gov. Gina Raimondo to drop the proposal, which would add a $150 to $350 dollar-a -year fee for each plant grown by patients and caregivers. The Raimondo administration says the revenue caregivers earn from selling medical marijuana to patients is significant enough to offset the fee.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

 State officials want to make some changes to the state’s medical marijuana program. Under the governor’s proposed budget, a new tax on marijuana plants would bring in some revenue.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Ten years ago this month, Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana. Today, nearly 13,000 patients are enrolled, not to mention more than 2000 caregivers. And 100 new applications arrive every week. Is it sustainable?

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new General Assembly session is underway, and already the House and Senate are casting votes on critical issues. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay has been checking in with leaders in both bodies to find out what their health care legislation priorities are. 

 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.

Dank Depot / flickr

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.

Federal Wildlife Service

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.

Federal Wildlife Service

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.

Federal Wildlife Service

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

Laurie Avocado / Creative Commons license

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.

Federal Wildlife Service

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.

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