Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rhode Island Becomes 11th Medical Marijuana State

First Medical Marijuana Bill Since Supreme Court Ruling Passes Via Historic Veto Override

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- The Rhode Island House of Representatives voted to override Gov. Donald Carcieri's veto of the Marijuana Policy Project's medical marijuana bill today, making Rhode Island the 11th state to make medical marijuana legal and the first to enact a medical marijuana law since the Supreme Court's June decision in Gonzales v. Raich. Rhode Island's medical marijuana law is the third to be enacted by a state legislature, and the first passed by overriding a governor's veto. (The other eight states' medical marijuana laws were enacted via ballot initiatives.)

A coalition of Rhode Island patients, medical experts and health advocates built support for the bill. Organizations working to pass the bill included the Rhode Island Medical Society, the Rhode Island Nurses Association, and AIDS Project Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition.

Medical marijuana legislation continues to receive support in state legislatures around the country. Medical marijuana bills were introduced recently in Michigan and Wisconsin. Similar legislation is poised to pass in New Mexico.

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