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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.

Photo: NBC 10 News
Governor Lincoln Chafee received a threatening letter today from Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha.

‚ÄčAdd Rhode Island to the list of states that have received threatening letters from the federal government on the issue of medical marijuana in recent weeks.

Significantly, the Rhode Island letter — delivered to Governor Lincoln Chafee’s office on Friday — unlike all of the other recent U.S. Attorney letters to medical marijuana states, does NOT begin with a line like “In response to your inquiry…”
“That likely means that this legal advice was not solicited by the Rhode Island government, marking an escalation in the feds’ aggressiveness on this issue,” media relations director Tom Angell at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) told Toke of the Town Friday evening.
To date, U.S. Attorneys have only weighed in with threat letters after being contacted by state and local officials.