R.I. lawmakers to vote on medical marijuana

May 01, 2007

, Associated Press

Rhode Island lawmakers are planning two votes this week on whether to extend the state's medical marijuana program.

Under the law, residents suffering from illnesses including cancer and AIDS can get state permission to possess marijuana for pain relief. Selling marijuana remains illegal under state and federal law.

Unless lawmakers vote to renew it, the program will expire June 30th.

The House of Representatives has scheduled a vote for this afternoon. State senators are planning a vote Thursday.

The newest bill allows people with a criminal record to acquire marijuana for ill patients, so long as those offenses happened at least ten years ago. It also clarifies how much marijuana a caregiver can possess.

Governor Carcieri opposes the program and vetoed it last year.

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