State To Set Rules To Govern Compassion Centers
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State To Set Rules To Govern Compassion Centers
Posted by CN Staff on September 06, 2009 at 20:55:25 PT
By W. Zachary Malinowski, Journal Staff Writer
Source: Providence Journal
Providence, R.I. --  So, what’s next with the new law that calls for the establishment of three compassion centers in Rhode Island that will provide medically licensed patients with places to legally buy marijuana?Officials from the state Health Department will soon review a transcript from a recent community hearing in which dozens of people interested in running the marijuana distribution centers raised many questions about how the program will work.
Among the questions: What kind of security system will be required? What must be done with the excess marijuana? Can vans or other forms of transportation be used to ship the marijuana to patients in other parts of the state?Meanwhile, law enforcement officials have continued to question the wisdom of the program. They have expressed ongoing concerns that the operators could illegally peddle drugs on the side, or they could be targeted by criminal groups seeking to grab their valuable stash of marijuana.Two state officials, including Charles Alexandre, chief of the Health Department’s Office of Health Professionals Regulation, patiently fielded the questions at the community hearing, but they had few answers. Instead, they repeatedly said that they are required to follow the General Assembly’s statute that permits the opening of the compassion centers.Rhode Island is just one of three states in the nation that has approved the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes — the others are California and New Mexico. And, no one is quite sure how it’s all going to play out.“We are definitely trailblazing right now,” said Stephen Hogan, executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. “We don’t really know what’s going to happen. This is all new.” At the hearing, the Health Department distributed a 22-page document that covered the proposed draft amendments in the “Rules and Regulations Related to the Medical Marijuana Program.” Included in the draft were nine pages involving the operation of compassion centers.Among the issues addressed are security, criminal background checks on people employed at a compassion center and how much marijuana can be dispensed to a licensed patient — 2.5 ounces over a 15-day period.The compassion centers are designed to augment the medical marijuana program that allows caregivers approved by the Health Department to grow up to 24 marijuana plants inside their homes for licensed medical marijuana users.Since the legislation became a permanent law in 2007, about 900 medical marijuana users have been issued licenses, while 725 caregivers have been approved to grow and distribute the drug. The users must provide the Health Department with a signed form from a physician that says they suffer from illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy or other debilitating conditions.Annemarie Beardsworth, spokeswoman for the Health Department, said that there will not be another informal community hearing. Instead, she said, Health Department officials will address many of the issues raised at the recent hearing and incorporate them into the rules and regulations for opening a compassion center.Once the rules and regulations are completed and posted for public viewing, the Health Department has 30 days to change anything. After that, she said, the department will begin accepting applications from those interested in opening a compassion center.“The rules and regulations will set the minimum standards for what the compassion centers will have to meet,” Beardsworth said. “When the applications come in, you have to make sure they meet all of the minimum requirements.”She said that the Health Department should begin accepting applications this fall, and that the first compassion center should open for business early next year. Hogan, of RIPAC, said that about 50 individuals or organizations have expressed an interest in opening centers.Once the first one is up and running, the legislation calls for two more to open in the months that follow.Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)Author:   W. Zachary Malinowski, Journal Staff Writer Published: Monday, September 7, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Providence Journal CompanyContact: letters projo.comWebsite: Articles: More Questions Than Answers At Meeting Debated for RI Medical Marijuana Stores
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Comment #8 posted by John Tyler on September 07, 2009 at 20:12:49 PT
off topic
The latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine has an article about the Drug War. Their conclusion, based on interviews, research, etc, is that drugs won. If we can hang on a little longer maybe we can all get through this and be able to grow our own, or purchase our own without fear.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on September 07, 2009 at 12:03:17 PT
Museman comment 1
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Comment #6 posted by yoshi on September 07, 2009 at 11:50:50 PT:
Sam/ Pastor shooting
That's really sick, I am surprised to see he's white, should help get more media attention.
The cops, who looked like criminals, appeared to be wearing wife beater undershirts, like the cops from museman's comment.
The cops will probably need more funding now for training, watch this video of a DEA agent shooting himself in the foot (not badly) it is hilarious.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on September 07, 2009 at 10:58:36 PT
bad story
sorry, this is depressing but I thought some would be interested in reading - Atlanta police are at it again, this time shooting a minister:
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Comment #4 posted by museman on September 07, 2009 at 10:00:48 PT
Aw shucks.Law sucks.Freedom rings.Liberty sings.Money buys.The child dies.Power under.Empire asunder.Living right now,Is the only real how.END CANNABIS APARTHEID
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on September 07, 2009 at 09:49:41 PT
"health" dept.
boy, these DPH guys are great! Really looking out for everyone's health. I'm sure they did a great job protecting Rhode Islanders from Vioxx, Seldane, Bextra, and other lethal prescription meds.I'm sure the companies that sell those drugs faced heavy restriction and regulation from the Rhode Island government, right? Right???
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on September 07, 2009 at 09:48:40 PT
don't be so shy, tell us how you really feel!
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Comment #1 posted by museman on September 07, 2009 at 09:39:25 PT
law enforcement morass
About 34 years ago, I sat handcuffed to a chair in the Bakersfield Police Dept. Conference room, while just about every cop on duty came in and participated in the 'debate' with me about cannabis.Everything you've ever heard that prohibitionists have used -over and over again for about 70+ years- was thrown at me, sometimes more than once.They all believed deeply in the sanctity of their power and authority to the point that 'marijuana legalization' was a big joke to them -one of the reasons why they can't 
'cop' to the fact that so many suffer under the draconian prohibition against pot, they think its funny, so why don't the 'perps' get it?They've been recruiting killers from the wars now for a while to 'serve' as cops. They've had as much or more power than the Roman Centurians, and the Nazi Gestapo.The cops in Eugene Oregon actually state, and are 'proud' of their belief that they are the "Kings of the street."Most of this illicit power and authority (not all, it was potentially there to begin with in the standards set down by class and propriety) has been garnered through the WOD, and the recent additions of the antipatriot act, the NSA (from Nixon) and all the other republican legislation to empower the rich, and further enslave the rest of us.The power and authority handed to these souless killers from corporate-sponsored wars is being undermined at an accelerated clip by the people rising up and claiming just that little piece of their liberty; the natural, wonderful, beneficial use of cannabis. They don' like it.They will eventually have to go back to being citizens instead of military. Once we've gotten this little cannabis snafu worked out, then we can review constitutional law about standing armies, and war against the citizens by the governement, and really pull their fangs. They're worried about that, because as people gain consiousness, they realize real power, and that real power just naturally puts all that well armed fear power tripping to shame.34 years ago they laughed at me handcuffed to that chair, and said "Marijuana will never be legalized."Who's laughing now you over-rated thugs, thieves, alcoholic wife-beaters, and in general sorry excuses for humanity? LEGALIZE FREEDOM 
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