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R.I. Governor Vetoes Marijuana Dispensary Bill

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Rhode Island Gov. Donald L. Carcieri has vetoed legislation that would have allowed state-licensed centers to sell marijuana to registered patients with chronic and debilitating illnesses, The Providence Journal reported June 13.

“Although the intent of the legislation is to allow consenting adults to use marijuana only for medicinal proposes based on illness, the increased availability, along with a complacent attitude, will no doubt result in increased usage, and will negatively impact the children of Rhode Island,” said Carcieri in his veto message.

The legislation would have established three “compassion centers” licensed by the state health department.

The Rhode Island Senate and House passed identical versions of the marijuana-dispensary bill. “I believe we have the intent and the numbers to override the veto,” said state Sen. Rhoda E. Perry, the Senate sponsor of the bill.

Rhode Island state law enacted in 2006 already allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to registered patients with illnesses such as cancer, HIV and hepatitis C. The law does not offer a legal avenue for patients to obtain the drug, however.

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