Senator Believes There's Support for Marijuana

Senator Believes There's Support for Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on February 24, 2005 at 09:16:12 PT
By Joe Kernan
Source: Warwick Beacon
Rhode Islanders who have a “prescription” from their doctors may soon be able to possess marijuana for medical use without worrying about the state enforcing current controlled substance laws. Senator Rhoda Perry of Providence introduced the Medical Marijuana Act legislation to the Rhode Island General Assembly last week and said yesterday there is majority support in the House and she expects growing support in the Senate to carry the bill through to the governor’s desk.
“Fifty out of the 75 House members have already expressed support for the bill and 18 of the 38 senators have also favored it,” she said. Perry and the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC) said a recent Zogby poll indicated that 69 percent of Rhode Islanders polled said they would favor the measure, which would remove penalties for possession and use of marijuana by people with multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS to relieve either those conditions themselves or the side effects of medications and chemotherapy associated with the treatment of those conditions. “Seriously ill people should not fear arrest for using a doctor recommended medication,” said Nathaniel Lepp, the executive director of RIPAC. With the tremendous amount of support this bill has, both within the General Assembly and in Rhode Island’s medical community, said Lepp, people with limited amounts of marijuana with the approval of their doctor and the Rhode Island Health Department will have nothing to fear from Rhode Island law enforcement agencies. Lepp said that the Rhode Island Medical Society, the State Nurses Association, AIDS Project Rhode Island, United Nurses and Allied Professionals and the American Association for Family Physicians have already endorsed the bill. “This act would protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, and their physicians and primary caregivers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana,” according to the Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Act. The act will allow certified patients or caregivers to possess up to 12 marijuana plants and 2.5 ounces of marijuana. One thing the bill does not address is how the patient will acquire the marijuana. There is no mechanism in the bill to facilitate that at this point. Even though, according to the bill, 99 percent of marijuana arrests are made on the state and local level, marijuana possession, cultivation and use for any reason is still prohibited by federal law. “We are encouraging patients to cultivate their own marijuana,” said Lepp. “They are pretty much on their own about how they get the seeds.” The General Assembly is in recess this week and the House and Senate bills have not been numbered or sent to committee yet. Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have already passed similar laws, and legislators will most likely examine the effect and popularity of those laws before the bills move out of the Assembly, according to advocates, but Perry said she is optimistic that Senate support will be stronger after legislators have a chance to study the bill.Complete Title: Senator Believes There's Support for Medical Use of Marijuana Source: Warwick Beacon (RI)Author: Joe KernanPublished: February 24, 2005Copyright: 2005 Warwick BeaconContact: info warwickonline.comWebsite: Article & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project Marijuana Bill Gains Legislative Support Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 24, 2005 at 21:09:39 PT
Thanks observer
I sure wish Rhode Island the best. The North East is special to me. 
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Comment #3 posted by observer on February 24, 2005 at 20:48:12 PT
RIPAC's site:
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on February 24, 2005 at 17:06:22 PT
“Fifty out of the 75 House members have already expressed support for the bill and 18 of the 38 senators have also favored it,” she said.80% of Americans support medical cannabis. Not even half of Rhode Island's senators support it. Out them and oust them. This bill will go nowhere if the senators don't represent their constituents.
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on February 24, 2005 at 11:59:16 PT
...anyone?Give pot a chance.
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