R.I. adopts permanent medical marijuana program
June 20, 2007
Rhode Island lawmakers voted Thursday to permanently extend a program allowing the chronically ill to possess and smoke marijuana for pain relief.
Lawmakers in the Democrat-dominated House and Senate easily mustered the three-fifths majority needed to override Gov. Don Carcieri's veto of the legislation.
Rhode Island became the eleventh state in the country last year to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
The program, which would have expired June 30, allows patients with cancer, AIDS and other debilitating illnesses to possess up to 12 marijuana plants and 2.5 usable ounces of the drug to ease their symptoms.
Carcieri vetoed the bill because he said Rhode Island patients are still subject to arrest under federal law. He also criticized the system because participating patients must buy marijuana from illegal dealers.