According to Mike Simoli at the RI Department of Health, the numbers of registered patients and caregivers as of April 14, 2014 were as follows: 7631 MMj patients and 3499 MMj caregivers. While we anticipated a dramatic rise in the number of patients in the MMj Program soon after the first compassion centers opened, (Slater Cener opened on April 19, 2013 and Greenleaf opened several months after that. Summit Compassion Center has yet to open), RI has experienced a modest increase of 2,784 patients over the course of the past 16.5 months. The number of caregivers has decreased in proportion to the increase in the number of patients. While there has been an addition of 2,784 MMj patients, there has been an increase of only 84 caregivers in the past 16.5 months.
Researchers from Brown University and RI Hospital have concluded there is no increase in adolescent use of marijuana in states that have enacted Medical Marijuana laws. Their data was published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Read the abstract: http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X%2814%2900107-4/abstract
This study is consistent with previously published studies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23763418 http://norml.org/news/2012/02/09/medical-marijuana-laws-have-no-discernible-adverse-impact-on-adolescents-use-study-says
Patients and their caregivers turned out in great numbers to testify at the hearing on April 16. Patients made it clear that the Compassion Centers are unaffordable for them and that the AG’s bill would greatly compromise, if not destroy, their access to medine. Law enforcement officials expressed concerns about abuses and safety (fires, break ins) in the MMj program. The Committee has not voted on any of the bills. We expect the Senate Committee to post a hearing date on the same bills in the near future.
You can watch videos of the hearing: http://ricaptv.discovervideo.com/embedviews/vod?c=all&w=640&h=480&s=1# (if the link does not work, copy and past it into your search bar) Look for the House Committee on Judiciary Hearings for APRIL 16. It was a long hearing so you will find 3 hearings separate videos. Keep in mind that testimony on “tax and regulate” which would legalize Mj for all, is mixed in with the testimony on the Medical Marijuana bills.