Tomorrow (WED April 16th) the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a handful of bills surrounding marijuana laws in the Ocean State. On one front politicians are seeking to foster the natural progress from deceitful prohibition to regulated legal sales and cultivation of cannabis for adults. On the other hand a different set of politicians are trying to limit patients and caregivers ability to cultivate while making a money grab from same patients, and also bolstering the coffers of the already overpriced compassion centers. Here are a few points to take away from each of these bills.
HB7765 I’m sure project SAM is behind this one. It moves cases for possession by minors from traffic court to family court (not a bad idea since possession of cannabis has nothing to do with driving) and will result in FORCED REHAB.
HB7681 This one changes the civil fine under Rhode Island’s decriminalization of possession of less than an ounce from $150 to NOT LESS THAN $100 or MORE THAN $200. So if you’re lucky you pay the former, most likely you’ll pay the higher amount.
HB7981 Adds PTSD to the list of eligible conditions covered by the medical marijuana law in the state.
HB7611 Makes advertizing of compassion centers illegal. Even by word of mouth!!
HB7610 Assesses yet more fees to patients and caregivers, while also reducing the number of plants allowed for cultivation (by 75%). It does increase the amount of “usable” cannabis that patients can possess, but really it’s trying to force those in need to purchase their medicine through the overpriced compassion centers.
HB7862 This one compliments HB7610. Since the medical patients will need a source for medicine due to the reduced self cultivated supply, let’s eliminate the limits on inventory at the compassion centers, and allow them to set their own inventory levels.
HB7506 And to the meat of the matter. This bill legalizes possession of up to an ounce and private consumption by adults 21 and over. While it does limit personal cultivation to 1 mature and 1 non mature plant by adults in a locked, safe location (previous bills that didn’t make it out of committee allowed for 6 times that) it also sets up a regulatory framework for adult access to tested (you know what you’re buying e.g. THC content, no poisons etc.) cannabis and cannabis products through a minimum of 10 retail locations. Included in the bill are a $50/ounce excise tax on all marijuana as it it passed from grower to retail locations, and a special sales tax of 10% on cannabis and cannabis products.
Rep. Edith Ajello, the author of HB7506, will hold a pre-hearing news conference at 3 p.m. ET in Room 101 of the Rhode Island State House on Wednesday. We invite advocates, patients and caregivers to attend, and let the PTB know that you support the positive changes and stand against the regressive medical marijuana bills proposed.