Senate Win for Rhode Island Compassion Centers Rounds Out Big Day for Medical Marijuana

Apr 29, 2009 drug warriors, events, Illinois, law enforcement, legislation, Minnesota, New Hampshire, patients, Rhode Island


We just got word that the Rhode Island Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill, 35-2, that would establish "compassion centers" to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients, making access for the seriously ill far safer and more reliable.

Just to recap, that means three huge victories for medical marijuana patients and advocates today. Earlier, the senates in New Hampshire and Minnesota both passed bills that would protect seriously ill patients from arrest for using medical marijuana with their doctor's recommendation.

That brings all three states much closer to improving the lives of their seriously ill medical marijuana patients, but we aren't there yet, so stay tuned.

Although a vote for a bill similar to those in Minnesota and New Hampshire by the Illinois Senate didn't take place today, that's not necessarily bad news. It gives the bill's sponsor, Sen. Bill Haine, more time to build support among his colleagues after amending the bill to address the concerns made by some law enforcement officials.

Meanwhile, many of those same law enforcement officials and the drug-war supporting organization Educating Voices have announced a press conference at the Statehouse tomorrow at 10 a.m. Central to argue against Haine's bill.

I mention their press conference because I think it's important to air all sides of this debate. I also think it helps the cause of seriously ill patients who rely on medical marijuana for people to hear the rationale behind those who would continue to make them criminals.

Oh, Illinois residents, please let your representatives know it's time to end the cruel, senseless war against medical marijuana patients. We're close to ending it in Illinois, but they need your help.