April 18, 2014

Rhode Island Gov Caves to Fed, Stops Medical Marijuana Centers

5/2/2011 – Governor Lincoln Chafee has announced that he will put an indefinite hold on the state’s three medical marijuana dispensaries from opening after receiving a threatening letter from US Attorney Peter Neronha on April 29th.

The Providence Journal published Chafee’s press statement:

May 2, 2011
Statement from Governor Lincoln D. Chafee Regarding Compassion Centers

The United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island delivered a letter to me on Friday afternoon which was copied to the Director of the Department of Health and the three Compassion Center applicants. That letter, as well as similar letters sent to officials in other states, clarified the Department of Justice’s position on medical marijuana. The Department of Justice previously indicated that it would not focus its limited resources on doctors and their sick patients who prescribe and use marijuana if such use was permitted by state law. This position was interpreted by some states as giving them latitude to authorize medical marijuana cultivation and distribution programs. Friday’s letter makes it clear that DOJ will now pursue certain commercial cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana, even if such cultivation and distribution is permitted by state law. Compassion centers, their owners, landlords, financiers and other operations “facilitators” are identified as potential targets of federal law enforcement activities.

None of Rhode Island’s compassion center applicants have received a certificate of registration to date. In light of the United States Attorney’s articulated position on closing compassion centers, seizing proceeds and prosecuting business enterprises that market and sell medical marijuana, I have placed a hold on the State’s medical marijuana certificate of registration program. During this hiatus, I will be consulting with the governors of other states with similar medical marijuana programs, with federal officials and with the compassion center applicants themselves.

Several governors have recently alluded to a planned meeting on the medical marijuana issue. The National Governors Association is the official body of these elected officials. NGA is currently led by Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington.  DOJ also sent a letter to Gregoire, that action prompted her to veto parts of a new law that would have regulated medical cannabis dispensaries.

Read more at Freedomisgreen.com:

Fed Curls Fist at Rhode Island Marijuana Dispensaries


  1. Ned says:

    Desperate to stop the spread of mmj from state to state, Fed prosecutors in WA either came up with or were first to use this threat letter technique. A brilliant tactic. Governors are able to point to the letters to justify vetoes etc as being prudent. However cultivators and distributors have always been under threat, none have ever truly been safe from the Feds. The threat has always existed, but a variety of factors made the Feds hesitant to act regularly. Mainly, local politics was primary factor, huge resistance in SF, Oakland and Santa Cruz created PR headaches for the them so they backed off after the initial wave of raids. Now they’ve discovered a relatively easy method of intimidation. These intimidated Governors were willing to go forward when the path appeared easy, but once any difficulty appeared they cave. Their political calculation is that the fight isn’t a certain political gain for their own career so it isn’t worth it. The Feds may have the legal power but not the resources to quell a massive revolt by the states. If the states were to force their hands and make pot legal at the state level, it would be up to the Feds alone to enforce their law. Without state assistance and resources, they could not do it effectively. States need to call the Fed bluff.


  2. This is complete bulls**t, the Obama administration (and previously his campaign) stated very clearly that they would not use federal resources to circumvent state laws, now the feds say that shutting down these legal growers and dispensaries is their core priority, even going as far as to threaten the governments of the states that legalize it. I think it’s time to refocus our attention away from the state by state legalization (which only invites the feds in to raid the legal suppliers) to focusing on putting pressure on the Obama administration to keep its promise. With these threats over their heads states still considering legalization are far less likely to pass those bills for fear that the feds will retaliate against the lawmakers themselves and not just the growers and dispensaries.
    We need to start a campaign of action directed exclusively to the white house, get phone calls, letters and petitions flooding into the white house demanding that Obama keep his promise and demanding that he make a public statement explaining exactly why he has allowed these raids to continue. And, of course, we should demand the resignation of Michele Leonhart.


  3. Mcquaid says:

    Heaven forbid America should stop filling up their prisons with pot smokers… do you know how dangerous it would be if they started locking up real bad guys??? Cops might get hurt, guards wouldn’t make the extra smuggling cash, judges would have time to golf and lawyers would be joining the unemployment lines… Look, I just got back from Holland. You know what they do if you get caught smoking pot in Holland? They make sure you have no tobacco in the joint, or they ask you to take it outside if there IS tobacco.
    Civilization and liberty thy name is not America.

    You have become a very sad little people, America.


  4. Dr Greenthumb says:

    When did the FEDs get a MD?


  5. Brian says:

    This doesn’t bother me. This is about commercial cultivation. I am a real pain patient and not one of those “ew I stubbed my pinky toe” types. I can grow my own and wouldn’t be affected by this law. Listen people…get off your lazy ass and learn how to grow your own marijuana, tomatoes, carrots, onions etc….I’ll give you a big hint…..water it you fools…it will grow. I’m glad the feds are going after those who seek to make money off this. I hope the Feds bitch slap states that write dumb laws. For instance, if you live in Rhode Island and winter makes it impossible to grow outside and you are on Social Security Disability and you don’t make much money to grow inside during the winter tell your state to make it so you can plant enough during spring that will last all year. Put it in the fridge and use it as you need it. Plant again next spring etc. The way these laws are written it’s so you have to grow only a few and that makes outdoor growing in winter impossible so you have to use more energy. What ever happened to good old fashioned dirt and rain? If it doesn’t rain where you live put the hose on it…duh. Come on people…get with the program. Quit depending on profit whoring dispensaries to sell you what mother nature or God will do for free. Some people remind me of chickens with their heads cut off…just jumping around until they fall over dead. Wake the eff up.


  6. jimmyd says:

    legalize & tax the hell out of it like they do everything else. the newly generated money would pay for obamas lame health care system. instead of everyone with a job.


  7. I believe in freedom says:

    Brian well said ..Grow you own.. although I did want to see the compassion centers open It would have been nice to be able to get clones,concentrates, meds in a pinch.. but they are going to charge 300+ per oz.. I don’t have that kind of money ..does anyone else ? I will still deal with my caregiver,She cares about me a lot and helps me out all the time.. the compassion center wont care about anyone except 300+ per oz…… I get it they need to pay the bills but at 300+ per oz don’t tell me these centers are non profit

    what we all need to do it change federal law.. If booze can be made legal again ,we can get cannabis legal again.. we all need to force these bums in office to work for the people and not for themselves.


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