Senate Committee Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

Senate Committee Passes Medical Marijuana Bill
Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2005 at 18:46:19 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Boston Globe 
Providence, R.I. -- Patients suffering from diseases like cancer and AIDS would be shielded from prosecution for smoking marijuana, under a bill passed Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Eligible patients' doctors and caregivers also would be protected under the bill, called the Medical Marijuana Act.The committee passed the bill on a 9-2 vote, with Sens. Leonidas Raptakis and Leo Blais opposing. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare considered its own bill on medical marijuana on Wednesday.Sen. Rhoda Perry, the bill's main sponsor, said the bill is intended for very ill patients who suffer pain, nausea or other symptoms from painkillers. The Providence Democrat acknowledged when questioned by another senator that any Rhode Island distributor would be acting illegally. Later, she said there are legal sources for medical marijuana outside the state.Some senators voiced reservations about the bill, but voted it out of committee anyway."So, let's try it," said Sen. Joseph Polisena, D-Johnston. "If it works, we've helped people in this state."The Rhode Island State Police and the state Health Department oppose the legislation.State Police Lt. LeRoy Rose said police were concerned about where patients would get the drug, and the amount a patient could have.Ten states already have laws permitting the medical use and cultivation of marijuana, according to the bill.The Senate bill included some late revisions. They include requiring the primary caregiver to be 21 years of age, giving the Health Department 30 days to review a patient's application and adding certain nonprofit organizations as primary caregivers, according to Perry.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Published: May 19, 2005Copyright: 2005 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Medical-Marijuana Debate Continues Consider Medical Marijuana Bill, Cons of Medical Marijuana Get Hearing 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 23:16:33 PT
Related Portion of News Article
This is a snipped source and it has another issue in the article so I posted the link. There is a poll on the link and right now it's 86% in favor of medical marijuana.***Senate Panel OKs Marijuana Use for Medical Purposes 
The legislation goes to the full Senate; the House has yet to schedule a vote.
 Friday, May 20, 2005
 By Scott Mayerowitz and Amanda Milkovits, Journal Staff Writers
 PROVIDENCE -- Rhode Islanders with cancer, AIDS and other serious illnesses would be allowed to use marijuana to alleviate their pain under a bill that cleared a key Senate committee last night. Besides approving the medical marijuana legislation, the Senate Judiciary Committee also sent to the Senate floor bills that would expand neighborhood notification of sex offenders to include "moderate" offenders and requiring the police to record interrogations in capital crimes. Yesterday's vote on medical marijuana was the first time such legislation has cleared an Assembly committee. The House held a hearing on its own, slightly different, bill Wednesday but has yet to schedule a vote. Ten states already have similar laws that protect patients, their caregivers and doctors from arrest under state law if a doctor certifies, to the state Department of Health, that a patient has a debilitating condition -- such as cancer, glaucoma, or AIDS -- that could be helped through marijuana.   
"It is time that this bill is passed so that we can alleviate the pain, the nausea and the disorientation that occurs when many of these very ill people are on a variety of other painkillers," said Sen. Rhoda E. Perry, D-Providence, the Senate sponsor. The state would issue the patient and his or her caregiver registration cards that would authorize the possession of up to 12 plants or 2.5 ounces of "usable marijuana" at any time. Perry's bill and one by Rep. Thomas C. Slater, D-Providence, do not address where the marijuana would come from. Perry said seeds would be obtained from illegal sources. That was a concern for Sen. Michael J. Damiani, D-East Providence, a former police officer who is apprehensive about "enhancing the operation of the neighborhood drug dealer." Damiani said a "clean source" needs to be found where there can be some quality control. That said, Damiani voted to send the bill on, hoping to amend it before a final vote. Perry changed the bill yesterday, creating a new group of nonprofit organizations registered with the state to acquire, possess, cultivate and deliver marijuana. But again she didn't say where they would get the drug. The organizations would have to register information about each employee and could not be within 500 feet of a school or building used for religious services. The amended bill also increases the minimum age for caregivers from 18 to 21 and expands the time the Department of Health has to review patient applications from 15 days to 30 days. Sen. Joseph M. Polisena, D-Johnston, a registered nurse, said he was afraid that "potheads" would abuse the law, but said its time had come. Sen. Leo R. Blais, R-Coventry, a pharmacist, said if a doctor approves the use of marijuana, there needs to be protection from lawsuits for the patient's other doctors, nurses and pharmacists. He and Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis, D-Coventry, were the only nay votes. Snipped:
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Comment #11 posted by stoner spirit on May 19, 2005 at 21:49:18 PT:
May the decision be good. Progress is slow, but its all good.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 20:33:34 PT
Second paragraph
in the above article.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 20:32:20 PT
Here it is.
"The committee passed the bill on a 9-2 vote, with Sens. Leonidas Raptakis and Leo Blais opposing. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration." 
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 20:14:14 PT
Maybe this Alert from NORML might help us figure it out because it's confusing to me.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 20:10:05 PT
Sorry about that "just" out of committee.
These guys are doing so much better than a lot of them, like New Mexico and Texas.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 20:07:57 PT
OK, I see it now...
It goes before the full Senate for a vote now.It's amazing good news. I hope it passes.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 20:06:40 PT
Is this actually passed into law?
Or just out of a committee?
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on May 19, 2005 at 19:28:38 PT
"Did Anyone Consult the AMA?""Did Anyone Consult the AMA?" Chapter 4
However, even within his controlled Committee hearings, many expert witnesses spoke out against the passage of these unusual tax laws. Dr. William G. Woodward, for instance, who was both a physician and an attorney for the American Medical Association, testified on behalf of the AMA. He said, in effect, the entire fabric of federal testimony was tabloid sensationalism! No real testimony had been heard! This law, passed in ignorance, could possibly deny the world a potential medicine, especially now that the medical world was just beginning to find which ingredients in cannabis were active. Woodward told the committee that the only reason the AMA hadn't come out against the marijuana tax law sooner was that marijuana had been described in the press for 20 years as "killer weed from Mexico."The AMA doctors had just realized "two days before" these spring 1937 hearings, that the plant Congress intended to outlaw was known medically as cannabis, the benign substance used in America with perfect safety in scores of illnesses for over one hundred years. "We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman," Woodward protested, "why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the profession, that it was being prepared." He and the AMA" were quickly denounced by Anslinger and the entire congressional committee, and curtly excused.3 *The AMA and the Roosevelt Administration were strong antagonists in 1937. When the Marijuana Tax Act bill came up for oral report, discussion, and vote on the floor of Congress, only one pertinent question was asked from the floor: "Did anyone consult with the AMA and get their opinion?"Representative Vinson, answering for the Ways and Means Committee replied, "Yes, we have. A Dr. Wharton [mistaken pronunciation of Woodward?] and {the AMA} are in complete agreement!"With this memorable lie, the bill passed, and became law in December 1937. Federal and state police forces were created, which have incarcerated hundreds of thousands of Americans, adding up to more than 14 million wasted years in jails and prisons - even contributing to their deaths - all for the sake of poisonous, polluting industries, prison guard unions and to reinforce some white politicians' policies of racial hatred. (Mikuriya, Tod, M.C., Marijuana Medical Papers, 1972; Sloman, Larry, Reefer Madness, Grove Press, 1979; Lindsmith, Alfred, The Addict and the Law, Indiana U. Press; Bonnie & Whitebread; The Marijuana Conviction, U. of VA Press; U.S. Cong. Records; et al.)
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 19:21:51 PT
I agree with you wholeheartedly.
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Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on May 19, 2005 at 19:11:01 PT
Progress ...
We win some we lose some, we been winning some lately so we must be mindful of these days to know the history ...Not with a cry, but a whimper ...
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 18:48:12 PT
Great Timing
From the east coast to the west coast we are making progress! This is very good news knowing that we are waiting for the Raich decision any day now.
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