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Court to Decide Towns Attempt at Restricting State’s Medical Marijuana Laws

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A decision has not been made regarding Smithfield’s proposed medical marijuana ordinance that would make the law stricter than Rhode Island’s law. Smithfield would limit how much medical marijuana a patient or caregiver could grow, but first a Superior Court judge must give approval.

Smithfield would limit patients and caregivers to just 2 plants, according to Turn to 10 News. Rhode Island state law allows for up to 12 plants. Smithfield officials say the reduction is to prevent the sale of excessive marijuana.

Patient advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union disagree with the city.

John Meara, attorney for the ACLU, said recently that, “It’s the city (sic) assuming the role of physician and usurping the authority the state statute gives the Department of Business Regulation and Department of Health, and reaching into the medicine cabinets of the citizens of Smithfield and preventing them from using medical marijuana in line with the state statute.”

Patient Advocate JoAnne Leppanen said, “It’s an important medicine for them. What this does, it takes away their right to grow the plants that they need. It takes away their caregivers. And by what right?”

An update on the issue will be available as soon as the written decision is announced.