Marijuana Dispensaries Coming To R.I.: Gov., Legislature Agree
By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and the Legislature on Thursday agreed to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to open in the state after negotiating a compromise. Chafee had blocked the dispensaries from opening, fearing they would violate federal law and result in DEA raids in the state.
Three dispensaries already picked by the state to distribute medicinal cannabis could open soon after the General Assembly endorses the compromise, reports the Associated Press.
According to lawmakers, state health officials will be directed to limit the amount of marijuana dispensaries may possess to answer concerns that larger shops would run afoul of the federal Controlled Substances Act, which outlaws any amount of marijuana for any purpose.
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 U.S. Attorney warned that operators of the shops could face federal charges. Chafee had joined Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire in asking the federal government to reclassify marijuana from its current status as a Schedule I substance, meaning the feds regard pot as having no medical value and a high potential for abuse.
Anxious patients in Rhode Island, who have already waited far too long for safe access, now await an official time frame for the much-needed dispensaries to open.
Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.