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Rhode Island


Rhode Island: Bill to regulate recreational marijuana to be heard this week

A bill to legalize and tax recreational marijuana in Rhode Island is returning to the state’s General Assembly after failing to pass in previous years.

Democratic state Rep. Scott Slater, of Providence, says he plans to introduce the bill in the House this week while Democratic state Sen. Joshua Miller, of Cranston, says he plans to introduce it in the Senate.

Their moves come after Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo announced in her annual spending plan last week that she wants to raise more than $8 million by charging medical marijuana patients an annual fee of $150 and caregivers a fee of $350 for each marijuana plant they grow.

Slater and Miller say the state should place the tax burden on recreational users instead of patients who need it as medicine.


A New Way To Curb Marijuana Use Among Young Smokers?

Treatments for curbing marijuana dependence have been mainly based on psychosocial approaches, until now — sort of. 

Published in Addiction Biology, a new study suggests that the combination of topiramate — an anticonvulsant drug, which can also prevent migraine headaches — and psychological counseling limits marijuana use among young smokers more than counseling alone.

Researchers at Brown University recruited 66 volunteers who admitted to smoking at least twice weekly. These individuals, aged 15-24, agreed to be open to receiving psychological and drug treatment to reduce marijuana use. A little more than half of the study’s participants met clinical criteria for marijuana dependence or abuse.


Rhode Island and Vermont Teenage Marijuana Use Exceeds Colorado Over Past 5 Years

Prohibition propagandists like the Joker to my Batman, Kevin Sabet of Project SAMUEL (Smart Approaches to Marijuana Use… Except Legalization), are desperately crying out to the media for attention to this report from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that explains how Colorado youth aged 12-17 now exhibit the highest rate of monthly teen marijuana use, now at 12.56%.

That’s one-in-eight teenagers toking at least once per month.


Medical Marijuana Turns 10 In Rhode Island

Ten years ago this month, Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana. Today, nearly 13,000 patients are enrolled, not to mention more than 2000 caregivers. And a hundred new applications arrive every week. Is it sustainable?

Ellen Lenox Smith taught seventh grade social studies. She was nearing retirement when the pain got so intense she couldn’t bear it. A bone was slipping into her throat, she couldn’t breathe, and her body seemed to be falling apart. After months of tests, doctors finally discovered what ailed her: Ehlers Danlos.

“I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos, which is a connective tissue disorder, which means all of the ligaments and tendons in my body are like overstretched elastic bands.”


4 charged with dealing medical marijuana illegally at lounge


ROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Four people were arrested by Rhode Island State Police Wednesday on charges of selling marijuana, after a raid of a “members-only” lounge that hosts medical marijuana patients.

A complaint dating back to November 2015 alleged wrongdoing at the Elevated Lounge on Peck Street in Providence, the State Police said Thursday.

The four suspects were associated with Rhode Island Care and Patients Services (RICAPS), and they — not the lounge — are alleged to have been acting as an unlicensed compassion center and providing marijuana to holders of medical marijuana patient cards, as well as those who didn’t have cards.


4 charged with illegally selling medical marijuana in Providence


Four individuals appeared in Providence District Court Wednesday following the raid of the Elevated Cannabis Lounge on Peck Street.

Douglas Mulcahey, Alexis Byrd, Frank Pellegrino, and Kevin Holmes have been accused of selling medical marijuana to undercover officers while working at the lounge.

Rhode Island State Police raided the lounge Tuesday night, seizing 21 bottles of liquid tincture THC, 93 bottles of cannabis syrup, 100 marijuana edible candies, 65 grams of marijuana, as well as $2,426 in cash.

"Undercover detectives were able to purchase marijuana, edibles and bi-products from individuals from within this business on numerous occasions," an officer said in court.


SCOTUS Should Dismiss States’ Challenge to Colorado Marijuana Legalization, Solicitor General Says

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli Jr., issued a statement Wednesday advising the Supreme Court not to hear a lawsuit Nebraska and Oklahoma filed against Colorado’s marijuana legalization law last December.


Medical marijuana law leads to unintended consequences

Elizabeth Jones is a mother of four children, including two girls, ages 2 and 3. Both girls live with their mother, but a judge in family court recently granted unsupervised weekend visits to the girls' father.

"It's his legal right. But then I question, where are my rights as a mother?" Jones said.

The girls' father has a medical marijuana card for chronic pain. Jones worries her daughters could be exposed to the drug or that their father could be impaired.

"Their safety is being compromised," Jones said. "No one is listening to me because of the lack of laws and the lack of policies."

A judge in Family Court has already ordered the girls' father not to smoke pot during visits or for 24 hours beforehand.


The next 8 states that could legalize weed within the year

Beginning in 2012, four states and the District of Columbia have voted to legalize marijuana. By this time next year, that number could well double, and then some. National polls consistently show majorities in favor of legalization, with a recent Gallup poll showing 58% support—tied for the highest level in the poll’s history.

That doesn’t mean legalization is inevitable in any given state, as the case of Ohio demonstrated earlier this month. There an initiative led by non-movement investors who sought monopolistic control of commercial pot cultivation got trounced despite spending millions of dollars.


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