Rhode Island Senate To Vote On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries



The Rhode Island Senate is set to decide on a compromise designed to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to open in the state.

A vote on the legislation has been scheduled for Wednesday, reports The Associated Press. The House is considering a similar bill.
Lawmakers authorized the safe access points so patients in the state’s medicinal cannabis program could have a state-regulated place to get their medication.
But Gov. Lincoln Chafee blocked the three authorized dispensaries from opening last year after the state’s U.S. Attorney threatened they could face criminal prosecution for violating federal drug laws. Marijuana is illegal for any purpose under the federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I drug.

Chafee, even while slamming the Obama Administration’s crackdown on medical marijuana, put on hold the licensing of the three dispensaries last year after the state’s top federal prosecutor warned operators of the shops could face federal charges.
The compromise would restrict the amount of marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to have on hand, in order to answer concerns that larger amounts would attract unwelcome attention from federal law enforcement, which prohibits any amount of cannabis.
The bill is a good-faith effort to allow the dispensaries to open without federal intervention, according to its sponsor, Sen. Rhoda Perry.