Senate Backs Medical Marijuana Stores
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Senate Backs Medical Marijuana Stores
Posted by CN Staff on April 29, 2009 at 18:41:25 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Providence, R.I. -- Bobby Ebert says he learned a painful lesson about the shortcomings of Rhode Island's medical marijuana program when a group of teenagers beat him as he tried to buy the drug two years ago.Rhode Island was the eleventh state in the county to allow chronically ill patients to use marijuana for pain relief, but there remains a major problem: buying the drug remains illegal under state law.
Trying to fix the legal limbo, the state Senate on Wednesday voted 35-2 to approve a bill permitting three nonprofit stores to sell marijuana to patients registered with the state. It now heads to House lawmakers. The goal is to give patients like Ebert, who smokes marijuana to alleviate the nauseating side effects of HIV medication and back pain, an alternative to buying from dangerous street dealers."This isn't the way to acquire medicine," said Ebert, 50, who never reported his attack to the police. "You know what the cops are going to say? They're going to laugh at you."More than 680 patients including Ebert have enrolled in Rhode Island's medical marijuana program since it began in 2006, according to health officials. Patients suffering from conditions including chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer's disease can register with the state for permission to possess up to 12 marijuana plants and 2.5 ounces of the drug in a usable form.The sale and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Legislation sponsored by Sen. Rhoda Perry and Rep. Thomas Slater, both Democrats from Providence, would allow the state to license three "compassion centers" permitted to sell the drug to registered patients. Perry called the lack of a legal distribution center a major problem for patients."They're purchasing it illegally," she said. "There are dangers. There have been several cases where patients have gotten into a scuffle with sellers." Gov. Don Carcieri, a Republican, is expected to veto the bill if it passes.Perry's bill was supported by well over the 60 percent of lawmakers needed to overturn a veto. Carcieri has not taken a position on Perry's bill, said his spokeswoman, Amy Kempe. But the governor has repeatedly vetoed bills creating or expanding the state's medical marijuana program, saying it promotes illegal drug use and puts patients at risk of being prosecuted under federal law.U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced that President Barack Obama's administration would not target marijuana dispensers that follow state law, an announcement that Perry believes could ease the concerns of some state lawmakers in Rhode Island.Former President George Bush's administration targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in California even if they complied with that state's medical marijuana law. Under Perry's bill, Rhode Island officials would take into account a facility's security plans and the feelings of the host community before allowing a marijuana store to operate. The stores would be subject to state inspection.The Senate passed a similar version of Perry's bill last year, but House lawmakers opted instead to create a commission to study way of distributing marijuana to medical patients. Carcieri vetoed the commission and killed the plan.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published:  April 29, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Associated PressURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #4 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on April 30, 2009 at 11:18:29 PT
I gotta agree with Hope on this one.
"It would certainly cut down on the number of vetoes!"I think you are greatly underestimating the kinkiness of your average politician, Sam.If he gets a spanking AND gets to show his ugly naked ass in public, he'll veto everything!
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on April 30, 2009 at 09:36:44 PT
Oh Sam...
I'd rather Carcieri got to keep his pants up during the public spanking!Too many politicians are caught with their pants already down as it is.
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Comment #2 posted by CanadianGanjaman on April 30, 2009 at 07:01:34 PT
HeHe Sam Adams
uh... Agreed? But perhaps he should also be made to say on tape that he was wrong, humiliation is naught without mental impact...
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on April 29, 2009 at 19:13:02 PT
I think every time Carcieri's vetoes get overidden he should have to bend over and take a spanking. Pants down. In public. With a ping-pong paddle.It would certainly cut down on the number of vetoes! This guy seems to love vetoes. A new tradition! 
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