Medical Marijuana Compassion Centers Could Open Soon

     Advocates for medical marijuana in Rhode Island scored a victory today. Almost a year after the state's top prosecutor shot down the idea of compassion centers, a compromise has been reached. After a series of meetings between legislators and Governor Chafee, Sen Rhoda Perry and Rep. Scott Slater, they will sponsor a bill that will regulate, and put stricter limits on compassion centers. 
     “This is a good compromise that strengthens the safety of compassion centers. We just want patients to get some relief, soon. While we believe the existing law is good, this change will make it better by making our centers less of an issue for the federal government.” said Representative Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence)
     The legislation allows the Department of Health to directly regulate how much marijuana each compassion center may grow and posses. Thus it would lessen the concern federal officials would have for the income generated by a privately run center.
     Even though the sale and possession of marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, other states such as Maine and New Jersey have enacted similar legislation without the federal government stepping in, and shutting down compassion centers. Legislators are hoping the same thing occurs in Rhode Island. If the General Assembly endorses the compromise, three pre-approved centers could soon open up.