Search Results: rhode-island (12)

The industry is worried.

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek

President-elect Donald Trump nominated anti-pot hardliner Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama (R) for Attorney General. At a Senate hearing in April 2016, Sessions said that ‘we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.’

“I think one of [Obama’s] great failures, it’s obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana,” Sessions said at the hearing. “It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started ‘Just Say No.’ ”

Lawmakers, he said, have to “send that message with clarity that good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
USNews calls Sessions an “ Existential threat” to state-legal cannabis. Industry leaders are very nervous.

Reason points out that Sessions has an “aversion to civil rights” and gay rights. The U.S. Senate failed to confirm him for a federal judgeship in 1986, amid allegations of what late Senator Ted Kennedy called “racial insensitivity” and “lack of commitment to equal justice under the law.” The New York Times editorializes that the nomination is an “ insult to justice.”

What does a Trump presidency mean for the industry? The transition team isn’t talking. NBC speculates.So does CBS.

The Sessions nomination needs to be approved by the Senate. Have a view you want to share?  Contact your Senator.

Before the Sessions pick, the Washington Post’s Radley Balko said former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) would also be “ terrifying.”

Before the Sessions pick, anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet said, “A Trump administration throws everything up in the air… “Is it going to be ‘ states’ rights Trump’ or ‘law-and-order Trump’?”’s Tom Angell has launched a petition for Trump to keep his “marijuana pledge” to respect state laws.  Even if he doesn’t go after the industry, The Stranger says President Trump will  make the industry whiter.

It’s official, Denver will be the first U.S. city to license social use businesses.

After the Massachusetts REC vote, Rhode Island could legalize REC through the legislature. Alaska is setting up a  drop box system  to collect taxes in cash.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery (R), said looser cannabis regulations in Memphis and Nashville can’t stand.

Due to a glitch, it appears that MED in California will be tax-free until the state’s REC program begins in 2018.

Some conservatives don’t like that MED patients can’t buy guns.

Update 4/18/14: Sorry Rhode Island, no pot legalization – no matter how limited – for you this year. After meeting yesterday, the state House Judiciary Committee decided to table seven marijuana-related bills until next year.
Lawmakers were apparently not swayed by public testimony earlier this week in favor of legislation that would have legalized sales of up to an ounce of cannabis at a time to adults 21 and up as well as the personal cultivation of one plant at a time.


Bills Would Replace Criminal Penalties for Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana with a Fine
The Rhode Island House and Senate on Tuesday voted in favor of twin bills that would reduce the penalty for possession of marijuana to a $150 civil fine for most offenses.
H 7092 and its companion bill, S 2253, would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana a civil infraction — similar in seriousness to a parking ticket — and would remove the criminal penalties that currently exist.
Marijuana possession is now punishable in Rhode Island by up to a $500 fine and up to a year in jail.
These bills received overwhelming support in both chambers, passing with a vote of 50 to 24 in the House and 28 to 6 in the Senate.  

Reality Catcher

Bills Would Replace Criminal Penalties for Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana with a Fine
The Rhode Island House and Senate Judiciary Committees on Tuesday voted in favor of two bills that would reduce the penalty for possession of marijuana to a $150 civil fine for most offenses.
H 7092 and its companion bill, S 2253, would make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil infraction, similar to a parking ticket, and would remove the criminal penalties that currently exist. Marijuana possession is now punishable in Rhode Island by up to a $500 fine and up to a year in jail.
The bills will now go to their respective floors for a full vote.

Steven Senne/AP
Rhode Island Speaker of the House Gordon D. Fox: “I think it’s been too long and there have been too many people waiting”

​Rhode Island’s Legislature legalized medical marijuana back in 2006. Three years later, in 2009, the Legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto to allow medicinal cannabis dispensaries in the state with an overwhelming 68-0 vote in the House and 35-3 in the Senate.

That certainly seems clear enough, and it’s been a couple of years now. Haven’t they had time to get that program up and running for seriously ill patients? But, well, you know how silly the federal government can be, when it comes to that oh-so-dangerous boogie bear “marijuana.” It’s still against federal law, doncha know? So please don’t get any wacky ideas about the people trying to run things.

Seattle Weekly
Washington Governor Christine Gregoire: “Has anybody died from marijuana?”

​Washington Governor Christine Gregoire and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee have asked the federal government to reclassify marijuana as a drug that can be prescribed by doctors and filled by pharmacists, in a move that would require the federal Food and Drug Administration to conduct new studies.

The move by the governors gives new political muscle to the debate on the legal and medicinal status of marijuana, which has been raging across an American cultural divide for decades, reports Michael Cooper at The New York Times.
“The divergence in state and federal law creates a situation where there is no regulated and safe system to supply legitimate patients who may need medical cannabis,” the governors wrote on Wednesay to Michele M. Leonhart, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“In the year 2011, why can’t medical cannabis be prescribed by a physician and filled at the drug store just like any other medication?” Gregoire said on Wednesday, reports Vanessa Ho at

Medical Marijuana Blog

​The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it is considering legal action over Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s decision not to license three medical marijuana dispensaries, as provided for in the state’s medicinal cannabis law.

State ACLU Executive Director Steve Brown said on Friday that he’s trying to put a lawsuit together on behalf of patients to force the governor to comply with the “compassion center” statute, which provides for state-licensed dispensaries, reports The Associated Press.
Brown said he’s been in touch with the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC) about possible legal action.
Governor Chafee on Thursday said he wouldn’t implement the state’s compassion center law because it could cause Rhode Island to become a target of federal law enforcement.

Business Insider
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee: “This has been a difficult decision”

​Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has blinked first in his stand-down with the federal government over medical marijuana dispensaries in his state.

The governor officially rejected pleas from patients and advocates to provide safe access for seriously ill Rhode Island patients who have doctors’ authorizations to use medicinal cannabis.
“It’s a sad day for those of us from Rhode Island,” Tom Angell of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) told Toke of the Town Thursday afternoon.
Medical marijuana advocates had called upon Gov. Chafee to open the dispensaries, allowed under state law, but Chafee refused, citing the supposed threat of federal prosecution after receiving one of the recent threatening letters sent by U.S. Attorneys in several medical-marijuana states.

Photo: Business Insider
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said dispensaries will be on “difficult ground” until federal pot laws change

​Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee said medical marijuana dispensaries like those planned for his state will face challenges as long as the federal government takes a hard line on cannabis.

Chafee, an independent, put on hold a plan to license three dispensaries to sell marijuana to patients after the state’s U.S. Attorney warned in April that doing so could violate federal law, reports the Associated Press.
Now Gov. Chafee said state and federal officials should find “common ground” on the question of dispensaries. Last week Attorney General Eric Holder visited Rhode Island and promised to clarify the federal government’s position on medicinal cannabis.

Photo: Reuters
Attorney General Eric Holder: “We are in the process of working [on]these issues”

​U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday that the Justice Department will work with governors and other state officials to reach a “satisfactory resolution” to the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries in states with medicinal cannabis programs.

“We are in the process of working [on]these issues with the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island and other U.S. Attorneys across the country,” Holder said, reports W. Zachary Malinowski at The Providence Journal. “My hope is that sometime in the not too distant future … it will be addressed.”
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