23 Legal States

Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Laws

Full Text of Rhode Island's Medical Marijuana Law

AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS -- THE EDWARD O. HAWKINS AND THOMAS C. SLATER MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT

Introduced By: Representatives Slater, Diaz, Williams, Williamson, and Almeida

Date Introduced: February 10, 2009

Referred To: House Health, Education & Welfare

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Sections 21-28.6-3, 21-28.6-4, 21-28.6-6 and 21-28.6-7 of the General Laws in Chapter 21-28.6 entitled "The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act" are hereby amended to read as follows:

21-28.6-3. Definitions. -- For the purposes of this chapter:

(1) "Cardholder" means a qualifying patient, a primary caregiver, or a principal officer, board member, employee, volunteer, or agent of a compassion center who has been issued and possesses a valid registry identification card.

(2) "Compassion center" means a not-for-profit entity registered under section 21-28.6-10 that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, supplies or dispenses marijuana, or related supplies and educational materials to registered qualifying patients and their registered primary caregivers who have designated it as one of their primary caregivers.

 (3) "Debilitating medical condition" means:

 (i) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Hepatitis C, or the treatment of these conditions;

(ii) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating, chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to, those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or agitation of Alzheimer's Disease; or

(iii) Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the department, as provided for in section 21-28.6-5.

(4) "Department" means the Rhode Island department of health or its successor agency.

(5) "Marijuana" has the meaning given that term in section 21-28-1.02(26).

(6) "Mature marijuana plant" means a marijuana plant which has flowers or buds that are readily observable by an unaided visual examination.

(7) "Medical use" means the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to the consumption of  marijuana to alleviate a registered qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the medical condition.

(8) "Practitioner" means a person who is licensed with authority to prescribe drugs pursuant to chapter 37 of title 5 or a physician licensed with authority to prescribe drugs in Massachusetts or Connecticut.

(9) "Primary caregiver" means either a natural person who is at least twenty-one (21) years old or a compassion center. Unless the primary caregiver is a compassion center, a natural primary caregiver may assist no more than five (5) qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana.

(10) "Qualifying patient" means a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition and is a resident of Rhode Island.

(11) "Registry identification card" means a document issued by the department that identifies a person as a registered qualifying patient, or a registered primary caregiver, or a registered principal officer, board member volunteer, or agent of a compassion center.

(12) "Unusable marijuana" means marijuana seeds, stalks, seedlings, and unusable roots. "Seedling" means a marijuana plant with no observable flowers or buds.

(13) "Usable marijuana" means the dried leaves and flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.

(14) "Written certification" means the qualifying patient's medical records, and a statement signed by a practitioner, stating that in the practitioner's professional opinion the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the qualifying patient. A written certification shall be made only in the course of a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship after the practitioner has completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient's medical history. The written certification shall specify the qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or conditions.

 

21-28.6-4. Protections for the medical use of marijuana.

(a) A qualifying patient who has in his or her possession a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marijuana; provided, that the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed twelve (12) mature marijuana plants and two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana. Said plants shall be stored in an indoor facility.

(b) No school, employer or landlord may refuse to enroll, employ or lease to or otherwise penalize a person solely for his or her status as a registered qualifying patient or a registered primary caregiver.

(c) A primary caregiver, who has in his or her possession, a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for assisting a qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process with the medical use of marijuana; provided, that the primary caregiver possesses an amount of marijuana which does not exceed twelve (12) mature marijuana plants and two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana for each qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process.

(d) Registered primary caregivers and registered qualifying patients shall be allowed to possess a reasonable amount of unusable marijuana, including up to twelve (12) seedlings, which

shall not be counted toward the limits in this section.

(e) There shall exist a presumption that a qualifying patient or primary caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marijuana if the qualifying patient or primary caregiver:

(1) Is in possession of a registry identification card; and

(2) Is in possession of an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the amount permitted under this chapter. Such presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to marijuana was not for the purpose of alleviating the qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the medical condition.

(f) A primary caregiver may receive reimbursement for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana. Compensation shall not constitute sale of controlled substances.

(g) A practitioner shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline or by any another business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau solely for providing written certifications or for otherwise stating that, in the practitioner's professional opinion, the potential benefits of the medical marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for a patient.

(h) Any interest in or right to property that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical use of marijuana, or acts incidental to such use, shall not be forfeited.

(i) No person shall be subject to arrest or prosecution for constructive possession, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, being an accessory, or any other offense for simply being in the presence or vicinity of the medical use of marijuana as permitted under this chapter or for assisting a registered qualifying patient with using or administering marijuana.

(j) A practitioner nurse or pharmacist shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau solely for discussing the benefits or health risks of medical marijuana or its interaction with other substances with a patient.

(k) A registry identification card, or its equivalent, issued under the laws of another state, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia to permit the medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient, or to permit a person to assist with a qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana, shall have the same force and effect as a registry identification card issued by the department.

(l) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 21-28.6-3(6) or subsection 21-28.6- 4(c), no primary caregiver other than a compassion center shall possess an amount of marijuana in excess of twenty-four (24) marijuana plants and five (5) ounces of usable marijuana for qualifying patients to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process.

(m) A registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver may give marijuana to another registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver to whom they are not connected by the department's registration process, provided that no consideration is paid for the marijuana, and that the recipient does not exceed the limits specified in section 21-28.6-4.

(n) For the purposes of medical care, including organ transplants, a registered qualifying patient's authorized use of marijuana shall be considered the equivalent of the authorized use of any other medication used at the direction of a physician, and shall not constitute the use of an illicit substance.

 

Read The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act in its entirety here.

Offense

Penalty

Incarceration

  Max. Fine  

Possession 

Personal Use

Less than 1 oz.

Civil Offense

None

$150

1 oz. to 1 kg.

Misdemeanor

1 year

$500

With Intent to Distribute

1 kg. To 5 kg.

Felony

10* - 50 years

$500,000

More than 5 kg.

Felony

25 years* - life

$100,000

Within 300 yards of a school may result in double penalty.

1 kg. is approximately 35 oz.

* Mandatory minimum sentence.

Sale, Distribution or Cultivation

Less than 1 kg.

Felony

30 years

$100,000

1 kg. To 5 kg.

Felony

*10-50 years

$500,000

More than 5 kg.

Felony

*20-Life

$10,000

To a minor at least three years younger.

Felony

2-5 years

$100,000

Within 300 yards of a school may result in double penalty.

1 kg. is approximately 35 oz.

* Mandatory minimum sentence.

Hash & Concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

Manufacture, sale, delivery, or possession with intent to sell or deliver.

Not Classified

2 years

$5,000

Delivery to a person under 18 years.

Not Classified

5 years

$5,000