Chafee ’75 will not license pot centers

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, September 30, 2011

Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 announced yesterday afternoon that he will not distribute licenses to medical marijuana compassion centers. Chafee has delayed authorizing these licenses for months, garnering resentment from medical marijuana patients and advocates.

 The General Assembly passed an amendment in 2009 to allow the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana to card-carrying patients through state-licensed compassion centers designated as their primary caregivers. In April, after three centers had been selected to receive state licenses, Chafee received a letter from U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha notifying him that such centers violated federal law.

“I cannot implement a state marijuana cultivation and distribution system, which is illegal under federal law and which will become a target of federal law enforcement efforts,” Chafee said in a statement. “Federal injunctions, seizures, forfeitures, arrests and prosecutions will only hurt the patients and caregivers that our law was designed to protect.”

Chafee added that he hopes to work with the General Assembly, advocates and patients to improve the state’s current system for medical marijuana cultivation and distribution through legislation approved by federal law.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is planning a rally at the State House Saturday afternoon to protest Chafee’s decision, said Kat Reardon ‘12.5, former president of SSDP.

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