Number of Patients and Caregivers in RI MMj Program

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.

Study Says – Legal Use of MMj for Patients Does NOT Increase Teen Use of Mj

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

Update on AG Bill

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.

Hearing on AG’S Bill and More will be April 16

The bills pertaining to marijuana will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday April 16 at the “rise of the House”(4:30pm) in the House Lounge located inside  the Rhode Island State House.
Looks like all bills pertaining to Marijuana will be heard including legalization of recreational use and amendments to the decriminalization law.
RIPAC is concerned with:
H7610 – the AG bill (you can find summary if you scroll down on this site) For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/billtext14/housetext14/h7610.htm
H7981 – RIPAC/Scott Slater bill – would add PTSD & expedite MMj applications and waive fees for hospice eligible patients. For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/billtext14/housetext14/h7981.htm
H7611 – would restrict compassion centers’  advertising. For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/billtext14/housetext14/h7611.htm
H7862 – lets compassion centers determine the number of plants they can grow (this provision is also in AG bill) For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/billtext14/housetext14/h7862.htm
As many of you know, RIPAC is continuing to work with the AG’s office and Rep. Lisa Tomasso on H7610 to see if we can agree to a bill that will address the AG’s concerns while protecting patient access to medicine.  Thus far, the talks have been promising but, as of April 16, RIPAC has NOT reached an agreement with AG’s office so the hearing will go forward on H7610 on April 16 at 4:30pm as planned. Please follow RIPAC on facebook for additional updates.