All but Three Rhode Island Legislators Vote to Approve Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

This week the Rhode Island legislature overrode Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri's veto of a bill authorizing state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. The vote was an eye-opening 68 to 0 in the House and a slightly less lopsided 35 to 3 in the Senate. Rhode Island already allows patients with doctor's recommendations to use marijuana as a medicine, but until now they've had no legal place to purchase it. Rep. Thomas Slater (D-Providence), a cancer patient who plans to use marijuana for pain relief, told his colleagues, "This gives a safe haven for those who have to go into the seedy areas to try and get marijuana." The new law makes Rhode Island the third state, in addition to California and New Mexico, where dispensaries are permitted; 10 other state allow medical use without providing for distribution.

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  • Jeff P||

    They have a thing in Providence called WaterFire where they light floating bonfires in the downtown canal, play drum-n-chant world music over loadspeakers, and hand out free ice cream sandwiches. Everyone shows up. Everyone.

    In short, Rhode Island is full of stoned people.

  • ||

    This is an outrage. In this country we have something called the FDA to approve medicines. We don't approve medicine by referendum, this is Cheech and Chong medicine, it is a cruel hoax to get marijuana legal. Marijuana has not been proven by the FDA to be safe and effective. It should not be legal because there are safer drugs available by prescription. This sends the wrong message to America's children, there are already too man addicts. I don't think America's children should all be stoned.

    We should not allow intoxicating substances to be available due to safety. You may want a 'right' to get high, but what about everyone else's right to drive on roads without all the other drivers being stoned.

    There is a proposal to make dealing pot a mandatory 25 year sentence at the federal level. This is a step in the right direction to a truly just and compassionate drug policy. We have got to once and for all create a drug free society, free from all intoxicating substances.

  • Dribbles||

    Thanks for your insights, Julia. No get your mouth back on my dick.

  • monkey on juice||

    Julia - are you stoned now, or have you always been that stupid?

  • ||

    Lonewhacko furiously typed his trolling post as "Julia", onehanded ...


    You fill in the rest.

  • ||

    Wow. Even the Republicans were on board with this ... assuming there are Rs in the Rhode Island legislature.

  • the innominate one||

    Julia - consume feces and expire.

  • IceTrey||

    Forget New Hampshire I'm moving to RI. Legal whores and weed what more could you want!

  • dfd||

    "This gives a safe haven for those who have to go into the seedy areas to try and get marijuana."

    Huh? Since when do you have to go into seedy areas for marijuana? Maybe if you're looking for heroin, but marijuana?

  • ||

    "IceTrey | June 19, 2009, 3:26pm | #

    Forget New Hampshire I'm moving to RI. Legal whores and weed what more could you want!"

    A lifetime supply of Doritos, Moon Pies and Mountain Dew.

  • Ska||

    Just think how much easier DEA raids will be in a state the size of LA county.....

    (please excuse me if my geography is inaccurate; I'm sure you get the point)

  • ||

    Julia, reschedule marijuana and we can talk about the FDA.

    Brotherben, do not forsake the Live Free or Die State! Our house and senate will be voting on a medical cannabis bill which includes compassion centers on Wednesday the 24th. The only person standing against the legislation is the governor - give him a call at (603) 271-2121 and tell him that sick people aren't criminals!

    Also, to those who live in and around New Hampshire, there will be a rally at the state house at 9 AM on the 24th. Show up if you can!

  • Ska||

    OK, I couldn't resist - RI is 1/3 the land area of Los Angeles county, and 1/10 the population. Just ripe for federal assbags to abuse.

  • ||

    Mr. Carter, done.

  • AB390||

    If you live in California and favor legalizing marijuana, YOU can make it happen. Tell your representatives to support California Assembly Bill 390. It's easy. Visit yes390.org

  • Julia Stevens||

    Julia, reschedule marijuana and we can talk about the FDA.

    Congress has determined that marijuana has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, hence the scheduling. I worked with addicts for 25 years, I know that drugs should not be legal.

  • the innominate one||

    Yes! Ban penicillin now!

  • Julia Stevens||

    give him a call at (603) 271-2121 and tell him that sick people aren't criminals!

    True, but dangerous drugs like marijuana need to be controlled. Sometimes the rights of society, in this case to be free of addicts, outweighs the rights of an individual, in this case to be free of pain. I still think that safer drugs are available by prescription, so it is a moot point.

    Marijuana is addictive and causes brain damage. Do you really want drivers on the road hallucinating from pot?

  • the innominate one||

    Pot isn't a hallucinogen, dumbass.

    Hey, maybe, just maybe, when you ONLY EVER work with drug addicts, you might be dealing with a biased sample of the drug-using population, which leads you to the incorrect conclusion that all drug use invariably leads to addiction and problems.

    I sentence Julia to a remedial statistics and logic and critical thinking course.

  • ||

    Colorado has legal medical marijuana, too. Patients identify a "care giver" who can grow their supply.

  • T||

    Congress has determined that marijuana has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, hence the scheduling.

    Because the Congress is full of scientists and doctors who have extensively studied the issue! No, wait, that's not what Congress is full of...

  • ||

    "Sometimes the rights of society, in this case to be free of addicts, outweighs the rights of an individual, in this case to be free of pain."

    Just curious, does this apply to lortab, vicodin, darvocet, xanax, ritalin, morphine, valium, codeine,phenobarbitol,and all the other pharmaceuticals that a miniscule number of folks are addicted to?

  • MNG||

    "Marijuana is addictive and causes brain damage. Do you really want drivers on the road hallucinating from pot?"

    I thought trolls turned to stone in the daylight...

  • ||

    Dont be fooled by MMJ. In California anyone can get it for any reason they can think of. Seriously if you have a headache or diareha you can get a recommendation. Look at MediCann Inc the largest group of doctors in Ca who give recs to anyone. This includes children ages 5-15 and pregnant women. Dr Jean Talleyrand was featured. Google ABC chanell 7 pot doc to see the story. MMJ is a scam just legalize it already so idiot doctors can not profit off of harming others!

  • the innominate one||

    "In California anyone can get it for any reason they can think of."

    good

    "just legalize it already"

    we agree on one thing

  • ||

    So you think just anyone should be able to have a drug that makes you hallucinate the first 20 or so times you take it? You think smoking marijuana has any medical value? Smoking anything is a health risk. So dont any of you pretend that smoking marijuana has any medical value. Using it as a topical maybe. Dont let your state turn into what CA has. BTW the doctors at MediCann are now all under investigation by the medical board and DEA. This will lead to about half the patients in CA having recs that are no good and to numerous clubs being raided for accepting MediCann recs. The DEA wont let them know what is coming instead just sit back watch then attack.. Everyone say thanx MediCann for ruining medical marijuana in CA!!!!!!!!

  • MARY jane||

    Tima have you ever smoked pot? Im sure I've smoked probobly 100 times and not once did I hallucinate, pretty sure thats salvia a physcotrophic that is actually already legal in Rhode Island and I don't hear anyone complainging about it

  • the innominate one||

    "So you think just anyone should be able to have a drug that makes you hallucinate the first 20 or so times you take it?"

    Yes, although MJ isn't a hallucinogen. Or I've been getting ripped off.

    "You think smoking marijuana has any medical value?"

    Yes.

    "Smoking anything is a health risk."

    [citation needed]. however, it's not necessary to take MJ by smoking. thus, a red herring.

    "BTW the doctors at MediCann are now all under investigation by the medical board and DEA. This will lead to about half the patients in CA having recs that are no good and to numerous clubs being raided for accepting MediCann recs. The DEA wont let them know what is coming instead just sit back watch then attack."

    I agree, the DEA should be disbanded.

  • ||

    Julia,

    If you want the government to keep drugs out of the hands of people, the best way to do that is to set up a government program to distribute them. Since the government has always acheived the opposite of its stated goal, that should make sure that drugs are unavailable whenever they are wanted. There would be shortages constantly. If you think that the government can actually accomplish something useful, then try having them keep drugs out of prisons first. Once that happens, then lets talk about big brother making health desicions for me. I don't smoke, but if I decide to start tomorrow, it's none of your business. I will never ask you to pay my medical bills, and I will not ask you not to eat the deep fried food and colas you so frequently consume. What you put into your disgusting body is your business, not mine. What part of "Right to pursue happiness" do you not understand? Do you think they are requiring me to pursue YOUR happiness? I ought not be able to force you to excersize, and you out not be allowed to force me not to smoke. If you try, you are violating my rights and I ought to meet you with whatever force you attempt to use to force me to act contrary to my wishes. Get your collectivist, thuggish mob rule, society worshipers out of my personal life. I do not need you or your kind.

  • Eric Haskell||

    Julia Stevens | June 19, 2009, 3:02pm | #

    This is an outrage. In this country we have something called the FDA to approve medicines. We don't approve medicine by referendum.



    Julia Stevens | June 19, 2009, 4:37pm | #

    Congress has determined that marijuana has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, hence the scheduling.



    See, we don't even need to argue with Julia; she does it herself!

  • ||

    It should not be legal because there are safer drugs available by prescription.

    Interesting premise. Of course, water is far safer than chemotherapy drugs. Should chemo be illegal?

    -jcr

  • Rich||

    1) "I worked with addicts for 25 years, I know that drugs should not be legal." I worked with non-addicts for 25 years, I know that drugs should be legal.

    2) These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

  • ||

    Ok, let's open the betting: is Julia a troll, or a genuine moron?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Julia, so you are the type of person that would like to have people locked up for 25 yrs. because they were at their home smoking some pot. What if that person were your son or daughter or friend would you still feel the same way? Did you ever work at a Nazi POW Camp, you sound like you would be a good fit.If smoking pot is SO BAD for you show me the dead bodies.

  • hmm||

    Congress has determined...



    That is not the way to start a defense of any argument.

    Oddly enough the Rhode Island legislature, a congress, decided the federal government was full of shit.

    Who knows, maybe if we legalize pot we will win more gold medals at the Olympics. Of course it must be hard as hell to run or swim straight while hallucinating.

  • Dr. Mark||

    I've read the string of posts on this site, and given a lot of thought to this issue of "Medical Marijusana." As a physician, I see many problems with the current new law. There are many levels of complexity to this issue. First, it is an illicit substance. Passage of this law makes me wonder when it will simply be legalized, just as tobacco is legal. I must agree with many of Julia's thoughts about drug addiction, hallucinogenic effects, etc. This is medical science, not speculation. On the other hand, alcohol and prescription narcotics have the same effects, so one could argue this point. Secondly, it is not FDA approved. While there are a multitude of FDA approved narcotic drugs for pain, we are fully aware of their side effects, usage, dosage, etc. We have textbooks, pharmacopeia, etc to refer to. There are even physicians who specifically specialize in "Pain" - these are usually anesthesiologists who do a fellowship expressly for this purpose. So far, MJ is not in their armamentarium of treatment protocols. Perhaps someday, it will be. So far, none of this supporting literature is readily available for marijuana, putting the prescribing physician in a very dangerous position. Thirdly, there is data showing that the use of MJ often does precede the use of more dangerous illicit drugs. This point cannot be down-played. At this point, physicians have no clear guidelines for the use and prescribing of this drug. Might we give it to someone who we shouldn't?? Could that lead to that individual's use of other illegal drugs? Certainly possible, but I'm sure the supporters of Medical Marijuana would like my license to be revoked for considering this. Lastly, physicians don't know who should be given mariguana, and how to prescribe it. What are it's interactions? Side effects? Therapeutic effects? Do we wait for the patient to suggest its use? What will patients think of their physician who recommends marijuanna? That patient might jump to the conclusion that his/her physician smokes it? Can that physician be trusted anymore? Obviously, this is a very slippery slope. We must be very careful. The State of RI has now legalized it through authorized dispensaries. That's a step in the right direction. A different delivery system really is needed. How about something similar to a nicotrol inhaler? We could call it the Mari-haler. Physicians need to be educated. I am the Continuing Medical Education Director at my hospital. I'd love to have a program to educate my peers on this topic. Who's qualified to give this talk? Perhaps Slick Sam who sells the dime bags in the North End? I'm not entirely against the idea of marijuana for its medicinal purposes. I don't approve of the delivery system (smoking), the implemenatation of the program in Rhode Island, nor the sloppy way in which this has occured. I wonder how many physicians were included in the passage of this new law. I agree with one other blogger who commented on the appropriateness of Congress to decide medical treatments. These issues need to be put in the hands of the physicians, the AMA, pharmceuticals, and patients, not our congressmen.

  • hmm||

    The gateway drug studies are generally flawed in an argument against legalization since alcohol can be seen as a gateway drug.

    The FDA has had significant failures in projecting the dangers and testing drugs. A short look at the list of drugs they have deemed suitable that have generated civil suites and their own recalls and changes is more than enough to be skeptical of their findings. Never mind the political implications.

    The first legal positivism argument is barely worth mentioning. The belief that because a law is written that it is just is absurd.

    I have yet to meet someone who has truly hallucinated from the use of marijuana. I won't say it is impossible, but the number of occurrences and severity is most likely low. Paranoia, munchies, and a desire to build things are far more common in my personal experience.

    I whole heartedly agree the people deciding should be the people. Including the medical community, but not limited to the medical community. You have about as much right to tell me what I can do with my body as a politician. I will however most likely lend more weight to your opinion.

  • the innominate one||

    "First, it is an illicit substance."

    If marijuana were legalized, it would no longer be illicit. See how that works?

    "Secondly, it is not FDA approved. While there are a multitude of FDA approved narcotic drugs for pain, we are fully aware of their side effects, usage, dosage, etc. We have textbooks, pharmacopeia, etc to refer to....[followed by a lot of meaningless blather]."

    Hey, Dr. Mark. Glad you've "thought" about the subject. Have you done any actual research on the subject? The reason we don't know that information for marijuana is it's been (mis)classified as a schedule I drug, so no research has been done on it. By the way, animal studies suggest that there is effectively no lethal dosage of THC. There are no recorded deaths directly resulting from cannabinoid toxicity or overdose. Also, fuck pain, it's a known and documented appetite stimulant and anti-nausea drug.

    "Thirdly, there is data showing that the use of MJ often does precede the use of more dangerous illicit drugs."

    There are a variety of reasons that this could be true, none of which have any bearing on MJ's nor MMJ's legality.

    "A different delivery system really is needed. How about something similar to a nicotrol inhaler? We could call it the Mari-haler."

    Um, it's called a vaporizor.

    "I don't approve of the delivery system (smoking), the implemenatation [sic] of the program in Rhode Island, nor the sloppy way in which this has occured. I wonder how many physicians were included in the passage of this new law. I agree with one other blogger who commented on the appropriateness of Congress to decide medical treatments. These issues need to be put in the hands of the physicians, the AMA, pharmceuticals, and patients, not our congressmen."

    Freedom is sloppy. Regulate it like tobacco or alcohol and put the decisions in the hands of individuals who take responsibility for themselves and their actions.

    "I am the Continuing Medical Education Director at my hospital."

    Good for you, try getting yourself more edjumicated on the subject. I'm a university instructor with a B.Sc. Biology, an M.S. Biology, and working on a Ph.D. Biology, as long as we're rounding out the bestiary of logical fallacies with appeals to authority.

  • ||

    Well done, innominate one.

    P.S. CA dispensaries sell "tinctures" of infused oil which can be sprayed under your tongue. Nice for the non-smokers

  • ||

    First of all, I don't want my personal choices to be regulated just because of someone else's (misinformed) "morals". MJ was originally banned because of big corporations and economics, like Pharma companies, not because of its effects. Also, plenty of people drink alcohol and not everyone decides to go driving around so the premise that if MJ were legal everyone would be driving around stoned is ridiculous.

    I've very very rarely heard of anyone hallucinating from MJ and those that want that side effect would probably choose something else. Prescription drugs, many of them, lead to addictions and could also be considered a "gateway" drug, like pain killers, etc. There is so much revenue that could be made from legalizing pot like textiles not to mention taxes, so all in all, I'm for this for many many more reasons than the supposed "all people that are for legalizing marijuana just want a reason to be stoned."
    http://www.newsy.com/videos/in_pot_we_trust

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