Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rhode Island Becomes 11th Medical Marijuana State

> JANUARY 3, 2006
> Rhode Island Becomes 11th Medical Marijuana State
> First Medical Marijuana Bill Since Supreme Court Ruling Passes Via
> Historic Veto Override
> PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- The Rhode Island House of
> Representatives voted to override Gov. Donald Carcieri's veto of
> the Marijuana Policy Project's medical marijuana bill today, making
> Rhode Island the 11th state to make medical marijuana legal and the
> first to enact a medical marijuana law since the Supreme Court's
> June decision in Gonzales v. Raich. Rhode Island's medical
> marijuana law is the third to be enacted by a state legislature,
> and the first passed by overriding a governor's veto. (The other
> eight states' medical marijuana laws were enacted via ballot
> initiatives.)
> "Today's vote proves yet again that the movement to protect
> medical marijuana patients from arrest is unstoppable," said Rob
> Kampia, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana
> Policy Project, which spearheaded the effort to pass the bill.
> "Last June, White House Drug Czar John Walters proclaimed 'the end
> of medical marijuana as a political issue' in the wake of our loss
> in the U.S. Supreme Court, but he couldn't have been more wrong.
> The public, the medical community, and Rhode Island legislators
> agree that patients with cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis should
> not be arrested for using medical marijuana on the advice of their
> physicians. We will continue to roll back the government's war on
> the sick and dying, and the White House drug czar can't stop us any
> more than he can make water flow uphill."
> MPP worked closely with a coalition of Rhode Island patients,
> medical experts and health advocates to build support for the bill.
> Organizations working to pass the bill included the Rhode Island
> Medical Society, the Rhode Island Nurses Association, and AIDS
> Project Rhode Island. In association with the Rhode Island Patient
> Advocacy Coalition, MPP recently sponsored a billboard near the
> statehouse and encouraged patients and other supporters to call and
> write their state representatives to urge them to override the
> governor's veto.
> Medical marijuana legislation continues to receive support in
> state legislatures around the country. Medical marijuana bills were
> introduced recently in Michigan and Wisconsin, and MPP has retained
> lobbyists to advocate for medical marijuana legislation in
> Illinois, Minnesota, and New York. Similar legislation is poised to
> pass in New Mexico.
> With more than 19,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers
> nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana
> policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that
> the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to
> regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more
> information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.
> ####

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