The smallest state has taken a big step into a better future. Rhode Island lawmakers and Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced a compromise Thursday that they say will allow three state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries to open without the risk of a federal prosecution. The deal, which must be approved by the state’s General Assembly, would limit the amount of marijuana dispensaries could possess to prevent the facilities from running afoul of federal drug laws.
“We tried to find something the federal government could accept,” said state Rep. Scott Slater, a Providence Democrat who worked closely on the legislation. “I don’t think they (federal prosecutors) are ever going to bless anything, but we’re trying to respond to their concerns while giving the patients what they need.” Rhode Island already allows qualified patients to possess small amounts of marijuana to treat conditions including chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures and multiple sclerosis. Lawmakers approved the compassion center law after patients said there were few safe and reliable sources for medical marijuana.
Last spring, federal prosecutors wrote to officials in several states contemplating dispensaries , declaring that large-scale medical marijuana operations could face criminal prosecution for drug crimes. The prosecutors said they wouldn’t target medical marijuana users who grow or possess small amounts for personal use.
The compromise already has the support of House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, according to their spokespeople. The legislation has been introduced in both chambers.
If medical marijuana users growing small amounts is not a problem, it’s time to talk home growing. Got a closet you can clean out? Learn more at CBS. [Image: google]