Pro-medical marijuana effort ramps up in RI

December 11, 2005

Katherine Gregg and Scott Mayerowitz, Providence Journal (RI)

The Marijuana Policy Project is stepping up its efforts to get the General Assembly to enact a law allowing the use of marijuana to ease the pain of people with serious illnesses.

The General Assembly passed such a measure this past session, but it was vetoed by Governor Carcieri . The Senate voted to override Carcieri's veto in June, but the House never dealt with the issue.

Today, the Marijuana Policy Project will unveil a billboard at the corner of Orms and State street in Providence, urging the House to override the veto.

The billboard will read: "Protect medical marijuana patients . . .Don't leave us out in the cold . . . Override the governor's veto."

The advertisement will be up for a month, according to Bruce Mirken, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, which is working with the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition on the billboard.

Rep. Thomas C. Slater , D-Providence, who sponsored the House legislation, said last week, "I have been assured by the leadership that it will be overridden before the start of the session."

House Speaker William J. Murphy , D-West Warwick, was not as definitive, saying through his spokesman, "The leadership is committed to making all efforts to pass Representative Slater's legislation."

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