The Green Light

function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('The Green Light');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

  The Green Light

Posted by CN Staff on October 30, 2009 at 05:03:43 PT
Source: Brown Daily Herald 

Rhode Island -- On Oct. 19, the Justice Department circulated a memorandum to federal prosecutors in Rhode Island and the other 13 medical marijuana states instructing them not to prosecute individuals using medical marijuana or those involved in dispensary operations that are “in clear and unambiguous compliance” with state laws. The move was hailed by medical marijuana advocates such as Stephen Gutwillig, California state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, who called it “an extremely welcome rhetorical de-escalation of the federal government’s long-standing war on medical marijuana patients.” We generally approve of ending wars but, as Americans have learned recently, winning the peace can be just as important.
In this context, that would be Rhode Island taking advantage of the unprecedented window of opportunity created by the Justice memo to develop a superior medical marijuana distribution system. We should first be clear that the new federal guidelines do not forbid all prosecution. Dispensaries and patients that are in violation of state laws can be still raided by local authorities. Additionally, not all federal prosecution has been taken off the table. The two most important loopholes allow federal prosecutors to go after dispensaries otherwise in compliance with state laws if they either believe the dispensaries are selling marijuana for profit (as opposed to the standard non-profit model) or if a prosecution would further “important federal interests,” presumably meaning the arrest of drug traffickers. One might wonder whether, given such broad exceptions, the new memo really is good news for Rhode Island. San Francisco’s crusading federal attorney, Joseph Russoniello, has gone after San Francisco dispensaries on the grounds that they make a profit since August. Is there anything to prevent the same thing from happening in Rhode Island? Yes: more transparency. The more open Rhode Island makes the operations of its proposed dispensaries, the less pretext federal prosecutors will have to raid them on trumped up charges. More transparent operations will significantly decrease the incentives for players in the illegal drug trade to get involved with dispensaries, as it will make them more vulnerable to prosecution. Significant transparency is possible in the status quo. According to the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, the amendment allowing for dispensaries contains provisions requiring “good oversight and recordkeeping procedures.” Once Rhode Island officials have cleared that hurdle, possibilities for innovation abound. As we’ve noted before, there are a number of flaws in the dispensary systems used by California. Now that Rhode Island knows exactly what the federal government expects from it (at least during President Obama’s term), it has a chance to develop policies that improve on the current model. Rhode Island should consult with law enforcement and patient advocacy groups like RIPAC as to what these new guidelines might permit in terms of policies the state might not have implemented in a climate of uncertainty about federal action. Such consultation would help the state to develop procedures that could benefit local patients and governments and, by serving as a model, patients and state governments nationwide. If so, the Justice memo will mark a huge step forward in the United States’ twisted history with drug policy. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Source: Brown Daily Herald, The (Brown, RI Edu)Published: Friday, October 30, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Brown Daily HeraldURL: Medical Marijuana Archives

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help    

Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 30, 2009 at 12:15:01 PT
That's ok.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by josephlacerenza on October 30, 2009 at 11:52:17 PT
O.T. Across the Pond
FoM I know you do not post news about other countries, but here's something from the UK.....UK Drug Chief May Lose Job After Cannabis Comments
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 30, 2009 at 10:41:22 PT

Unlikely Foe Steps Forward Against Question 5

Mainers To Decide Nov. 3 October 30, 2009Augusta, Maine -- An unlikely opponent has come out against Question 5, which seeks to expand Maine's medical marijuana law.Donald Christen, founder of Maine Vocals, a group that favors legalizing marijuana, said he opposes the referendum because the law would hurt more than help his cause.If approved, the ballot question would increase the number of conditions under which a doctor could prescribe marijuana and allow for the creation of non-profit dispensaries.Christen said he opposes the referendum for a number of reasons, including a provision that would put the dispensaries under the control of the Department of Health and Human Services.Christen said he also doesn't like a part of the bill that would set up an ID card for people using medical marijuana.Copyright 2009 by WMTWURL:
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by josephlacerenza on October 30, 2009 at 06:37:49 PT

Does a Pharmacist 
Need to have intimate contact with a patient to sell them medicine? Why the double standard?I do believe that the type of interactions that the courts are trying to uphold are relationships that are lacking in the practice of medicine right now. But, as a patient, I should have the say as to what type of relationship I want with my caregiver. Some patients want a place to get their cannabis and nothing more. While others may crave the interaction of caring people that just happen to supply them with their much needed medicine.Quality of care is lacking in the for profit medical industry and going after caregivers for not being engaged enough is missing the truly larger picture of what compassion can do for someone suffering from a life long ailment. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 30, 2009 at 05:49:21 PT

Colorado: Court: Pot-Grower Must Know Patients 
October 30, 2009URL:

[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment