medical marijuana

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.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

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.

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Rhode Island authorities are considering a new application for permission to open a medical marijuana consultancy. B & B Consulting bills itself as a first-of-its-kind medical marijuana "evaluation center."

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island saw its first medical marijuana festival Sunday.  It was held in Providence in a parking lot on Kinsley Avenue.  About two dozen vendors sold marijuana paraphernalia and growing equipment.  It was sponsored by the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, a group that fought to legalize medical marijuana in the state. 

Visiting the festival was Peter Benson of North Kingstown. Paralyzed in a bicycle accident, he takes marijuana to ease the pain of muscle spasms.

To recommend, or not to recommend, medicinal marijuana? That's the question recently posed in a New England Journal of Medicine interactive online poll. To get a feel for physicians' opinions, NEJM presented readers with a fictional clinical situation. Here's the scenario:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

In April, Rhode Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary – the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center - opened for business in Providence. This weekend, the second is scheduled to open in Portsmouth. We visited the Greenleaf compassion center as workers rushed to finish the stylish interior.

The marijuana might be medical, but the retail space is anything but.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The senate judiciary committee is scheduled to hear a bill today that tightens the state’s medical marijuana program rules.

    

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin proposed the changes that revise the amount of marijuana a patient can possess and grow.

Rhode Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary is set to open two weeks from today. The state health department has approved the permit for the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center. 

The facility plans to grow its own marijuana but the first batch of medicine will be purchased from growers who participate in the state’s medical marijuana program. That’s because Slater wasn’t allowed to have any marijuana on hand while it awaited its final permits.

Two other dispensaries – in Warwick and Portsmouth – are awaiting state approval.

The Rhode Island Department of Health has issued the state's first certificate to operate to a medical marijuana retail store. The Thomas C. Slater compassion center must tell the department when it expects to begin selling marijuana to patients who qualify. But today's announcement means the center can officially open for business.

Thousands of patients with qualifying medical conditions have registered to be able to buy the drug. They don't need a prescription but do need a doctor to certify they're eligible.
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Feb 19, 2013

RI's former Attorney General is in Brazil helping law enforcement looking into a deadly nightclub fire.  RI and MA are working out how to best regulate centers which dispense  medical marijuana.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.  Also a special interview by Ian Donnis with US Attorney Peter Neronha.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

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