Rhode Island Legalizes
Medical Marijuana

Rhode Island has legalized medical marijuana, the first state to do so since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2005 that patients who use marijuana can still be prosecuted under federal law.

The new Rhode Island law permits patients with illnesses such as AIDS and cancer to grow up to 12 marijuana plants or buy 2.5 ounces of marijuana to ease their symptoms. Patients who use medical marijuana are required to register with the state and obtain an identification card, the Associated Press reported.

Other states that allow the use of medicinal marijuana are: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

In passing the new law on Tuesday, the Rhode Island House voted 59-13 to override a veto by Gov. Don Carcieri. He complained that the law doesn't provide patients with ways to buy marijuana legally and leaves them open to federal prosecution, the AP reported.

While the Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana users can be prosecuted under U.S. law, federal authorities say it's unlikely that many will actually be charged.
URL: http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/health/feeds/hscout/2006/01/04/hscout530026.html