Pros, Cons of Medical Marijuana Get Hearing

Pros, Cons of Medical Marijuana Get Hearing
Posted by CN Staff on May 18, 2005 at 23:09:15 PT
By Liz Anderson, Journal State House Bureau
Source: Providence Journal
Providence, Rhode Island -- Lawmakers with their own family stories of cancer treatments and patients who have suffered the agony of debilitating diseases stepped forward last night to urge a House committee to legalize the use of marijuana for medical reasons. But the bill, which appears to be gaining steam in both chambers of the Assembly, also drew opposition from both the Carcieri administration and state police, and concerns from a chief state court judge.
The House Health, Education and Welfare Committee did not vote on the bill, which has been sponsored by two-thirds of the chamber's members. But the committee chairman, Rep. Joseph M. McNamara, D-Warwick, expressed a willingness to work on the issue. "I don't think anyone I've talked to is against giving people who are chronically ill any substance that can help them," he said before the hearing. McNamara said his concerns were the safety of the drug, and "instituting proper controls" on its use. The bill would make Rhode Island the 11th state to protect patients, their caregivers and doctors from arrest under state drug laws if a doctor certifies, to the state Health Department, that a patient has a debilitating condition -- such as cancer, glaucoma, nausea, or AIDS -- that could be helped through marijuana. The state would issue the patient and his or her caregiver registration cards that would authorize the possession of up to 12 plants or 2.5 ounces of "usable marijuana" at any time. The bill does not address where the marijuana would come from. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the bill in early April, and tonight is expected to pass it to the full Senate for a floor vote. Chairman Michael McCaffrey, D-Warwick, said there would be several changes proposed before its approval, including language to "tighten up" Health Department controls. The House sponsor, Rep. Thomas C. Slater, D-Providence, said he had been told the Senate planned to increase the minimum age for a sanctioned caregiver from 18 to 21, and increase the time the Department of Health has to review an application, among other tweaks. Snipped:Complete Article: Providence Journal, The (RI)Author: Liz Anderson, Journal State House BureauPublished: Thursday, May 19, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Providence Journal CompanyContact: letters projo.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Medical-Marijuana Bill's Problems Bill Goes Up For Debate On Smith Hill Huffs and Puffs Over Marijuana Bill
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on May 19, 2005 at 03:28:02 PT
10000 pot-ential prescriptions 
Iraq veterans' unspoken epidemic
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