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Medical Marijuana: Rhode Island Bill Passes With Veto-Proof Majorities


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Only one man now stands between Rhode Islanders and a permanent medical marijuana law, and even he isn't going to be able to stop it. On Wednesday, the state Senate voted overwhelmingly for the bill. Last week, the state House passed it by a similar margin.

Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) has vowed to veto the bill. But with both houses passing the bill with more than 80% of the vote, the bill's legislative supporters should have no problem in securing the two-thirds vote needed to override the expected veto.

It wouldn't be the first time. In 2005, Gov. Carcieri vetoed a medical marijuana bill that is scheduled to sunset June 30, but in January 2006 the legislature overrode that veto -- the only time that any state legislature has overridden a veto in order to legalize medical marijuana.

The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act would "protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, and their physicians and primary caregivers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana."

Under the bill, patients need a doctor's recommendation and a registry card from the state Department of Health. They and their registered primary caregivers can possess up to 12 plants and 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.

The bill won broad support in the legislature thanks in part to the efforts of the Rhode Island Patients Advocacy Coalition, an umbrella group uniting patients, medical professionals and organizations, advocates, and just plain citizens who support legal access to medical marijuana.

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: StoptheDrugWar.org (Washington DC)
Contact: drcnet@drcnet.org
Copyright: 2007 DRCNet Foundation
Website: Stop the Drug War (DRCNet)
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