During a news conference at The Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence in Rhode Island, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was peppered with questions about the U.S. Justice Department’s current stance on medical marijuana dispensaries.
“We are in the process of working [on] these issues with the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island and other U.S. Attorneys across the country,” Holder said. “My hope is that sometime in the not too distant future … it will be addressed.”
Prior to the press conference, Holder was in Rhode Island touring a recently refurbished facility with (D) Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, State Attorney General Peter F. Kilmarti, and U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, who interestingly enough, on April 29, hand-delivered a rather threatening letter to Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. The letter said federal authorities may prosecute anyone affiliated with the three medical marijuana dispensaries that the state’s Health Department recently selected to sell medical marijuana in Rhode Island. Of course the threat gave Governor Chafee cold feet and he quickly placed a hold on licensing them.
Following Holder’s news conference, Senator Whitehouse said Rhode Island’s medical-marijuana program and its plan to open dispensaries “seems reasonable and the state has spoken.” He went on to say he will continue to work on the issue with representatives from the Justice Department and Rhode Island, “so people know what the rules of the game are.”
And, knowing what the rules of the game are when it comes to the federal legality of buying and selling medical marijuana, not only in Rhode Island, but nation wide, is exactly what’s needed in order to confidently move forward and establish the rights for not only medical marijuana patients, but also for the compassionate businesses lawfully supplying them with medicine.
Leave a Reply