Rhode Island Becomes 11th State to Legalize MMJ

Rhode Island Becomes 11th State to Legalize MMJ
Posted by CN Staff on January 04, 2006 at 12:50:30 PT
By Brendan Coyne 
Source: NewStandard 
Rhode Island -- - Defying the state’s governor, the Rhode Island House of Representatives yesterday voted 59–13 to override the veto of a medical marijuana legalization measure approved earlier this year. In so doing, the nation’s smallest state joined ten others in bucking the federal government’s Supreme Court-backed prohibition against using the plant even for medicinal purposes.Last summer, both houses of the state’s General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a bill permitting patients possessing a state-issued identification card to grow marijuana plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces of the dried plant for medicinal purposes.
Governor Donald L. Carcieri vetoed the bill at the end of June, warning that the measure "will increase the availability of marijuana on the streets" of Rhode Island.Prior to recessing, the Rhode Island Senate voted to override the veto, setting the stage for yesterday’s afternoon vote by the House of Representatives. According to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the state is just the third in the nation to shield medical marijuana users from prosecution via the legislative process. Voters in eight other states have used ballot initiatives to force their state governments to enact such laws. Rhode Island is also the first to pass medical-marijuana legislation since the Supreme Court ruled last year that state laws permitting medicinal use of marijuana do not shield users from arrest or prosecution by the federal government. In a statement yesterday, Gov. Carceiri reiterated his opposition to the new law, stating that the bill fails to erect a legal purchasing method, does not mandate storage and cultivation areas and provides an overly broad definition of medically acceptable uses. In addition, the governor said: "This bill appears to violate federal law. Consequently, it will subject Rhode Islanders to prosecution by the federal government."Complete Title: Rhode Island Becomes 11th State to Legalize Medical MarijuanaSource: NewStandard (NY)Author: Brendan Coyne Published: January 4, 2006Copyright: 2006 The NewStandardWebsite: ed-letters Related Articles & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project Pot Veto Not Enough of Marijuana Bill Concede Problems Override Veto, Then Begin New Session 
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