The Providence Journal reports that last week the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island threatened to prosecute and take civil action against anyone involved in the state’s three proposed marijuana dispensaries. This is despite the state law that legalized medical marijuana in 2006 and allowed for the establishment of three dispensaries, or compassion centers, to sell marijuana in the state. Because of U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha’s statement the governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, the only sitting independent Governor in the country, has placed on hold on allowing the new dispensaries to open.
Once again federal and state law clash over this subject and for the moment the federal jurisdiction is edging out over 3,459 patient’s rights. Rights that should be protected under laws enacted and voted on by the people. Rhode Island is not unique in this fight as other New England states such as New Hampshire and Washington D.C. continue to face the same challenges. So the fight will go on until the will of people finally perseveres.