Hearing Addresses Changes To R.I. MMJ Law
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Hearing Addresses Changes To R.I. MMJ Law
Posted by CN Staff on February 03, 2010 at 06:14:03 PT
By Talia Buford, Journal Staff Writer
Source: Providence Journal
Providence, R.I. -- JoAnne Leppanen sees it every so often. A patient comes in and flashes a newly printed medical marijuana registration card. “They come in and say ‘Where’s my medicine?’ ” Leppanen, of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, said. “And then we have to say ‘Sorry, here are your options.’ ”Ever since the legislature passed its medical marijuana statute, allowing patients with certain illnesses to legally posses and use marijuana for medicinal purposes, figuring out how to get the pain reliever into the hands of patients has been a tricky prospect.
Too many patients have no way of obtaining their medicine,” Leppanen said. “And they’re being forced to resort to unsafe measures such as buying on the street where they don’t know what they’re getting and putting themselves in dangerous circumstances in order to get their medicine.”Proposed amendments to the existing medical marijuana statute seek to address that problem by creating up to three compassion centers where registered patients can get the plant in its various medicinal forms. The first, if the amendments are accepted, could open as early as this spring, Health Department officials said. The remaining centers could open anytime after 2010.In the nearly packed auditorium, only five people voiced their opinions on the proposed revisions during a public hearing by the Department of Health Tuesday. Beyond two individuals, the rest of those who spoke were from advocacy organizations: American Civil Liberties Union, the Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Society, and Leppanen.Eric Clapprood, executive director of the R.I. Medical Marijuana Society, said his organization — which provides education for patients and caregivers — says he believes the centers are needed, but is concerned that the amendments would mean that the centers would regulate who can cultivate their own medicinal marijuana.Caregivers who choose to grow their own medicinal marijuana will still be allowed to do so under the amended plan, said Annemarie Beardsworth, spokeswoman for the Health Department. The centers will include plans on how they will obtain their supply in their application, she said. The idea is not to limit the number of places where people can get medicinal marijuana, but to expand them.“This will just be one more option for those who don’t know how or don’t have the resources to grow their own,” she said.There are 966 licensed marijuana growers and providers supplying 1,227 Department of Health-approved patients across the state, Beardsworth said. The statute applies to patients with cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and a number of ailments that result in chronic pain, nausea, and seizures. Anyone can submit written comments to the Department of Health for the next two weeks. After that, the department will make a decision on how to proceed with the amended statute. They can file it as is with the Secretary of State, make minor grammatical changes, make major changes or not file it at all.If substantive changes are made, another public hearing must be held. If it is not filed at all, the current medicinal marijuana laws remain in effect. If the amended statute is filed, it becomes law after 20 days.Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)Author:  Talia Buford, Journal Staff Writer Published: Wednesday, February 3, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Providence Journal CompanyContact: letters projo.comWebsite: URL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 04, 2010 at 06:40:21 PT
RI: Measure Would Ease Marijuana Penalties
February 4, 2010URL:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 03, 2010 at 12:52:10 PT
CA: Ordinance Limiting MMJ Dispensaries 
Ordinance Limiting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Set to Pass in L.A.February 3, 2010URL:
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