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1US RI: Healing Church Believers Flout Federal Law As They SmokeTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Ellis, Rebecca Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Anne Armstrong, 58, knows exactly how many joints she has smoked at Providence's Roger Williams National Memorial -- 153, all rolled with "kosher" marijuana harvested in the backyard of her West Greenwich home.

As "deaconess" to The Healing Church, a cannabis-centered Catholic sect that boasts about a dozen members, Armstrong believes smoking in the park is a religious obligation, the equivalent to a sip of wine at Communion.

Anointing members with hashish-infused oil and blowing a shofar so it billows marijuana smoke are, likewise, ceremonial duties. (It should be noted that Armstrong refuses to use the word marijuana, which she calls racist slang. She prefers to refer to the plant as cannabis, spice, or hemp.)

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2 US RI: Proposed Law Could Define Drug-Induced Homicide As MurderFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Rhode Island Lines:30 Added:03/05/2018

PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island lawmakers have introduced legislation that could have drug dealers who sell substances that lead to a fatal overdose facing life in prison.

Current law states any person convicted in the sale, delivery, or distribution of a controlled substance to a minor who overdoses could face a life sentence.

The new proposal introduced by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, and Senator Hanna Gallo would include victims of any age.

If passed, the legislation would be named ''Kristen's Law,'' in honor of Kristen Coutu. The 29-year-old was found dead in her car after overdosing on fentanyl in 2014.

Aaron Andrade allegedly sold the drug to Coutu, and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 20 to serve.

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3US RI: Preliminary Injunction Prevents Smithfield From RestrictingWed, 27 Sep 2017
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Mooney, Tom Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:09/29/2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday preventing the town of Smithfield from enforcing a recent amendment to its zoning ordinance that restricted the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana.

In his decision, Superior Court Associate Justice Richard A. Licht questioned whether local communities had the power to regulate "small-scale" medical marijuana cultivation under its zoning authority, which traditionally has been used to determine land use.

In April, the Smithfield Town Council passed an ordinance that limits licensed medical marijuana patients to two mature plants and two seedlings, and only at a patient's primary residence. Rhode Island law specifically allows for the cultivation of 12 mature plants and outlines where medical marijuana can be grown.

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4US RI: Federal Drug Agency Asks R.I. For Medical Marijuana PatientSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Bogdan, Jennifer Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:09/19/2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A federal anti-drug program has asked Rhode Island - -- and more than two dozen other states where medical marijuana is legal -- to turn over data about patients in the program.

The move has alarmed some who question why the federal government, which has at times appeared to be antagonistic towards the drug, is interested in the information.

The National Marijuana Initiative, an arm of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, which reports to the White House, contacted the Rhode Island Department of Health in August seeking data from 2012 to 2016 on the number of patients in the program, as well as patients' age, gender and a breakdown of the medical conditions under which they qualified.

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5US RI: Goal Of Nation's First Opioid Court: Keep Users AliveSun, 09 Jul 2017
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Thompson, Carolyn Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2017

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - After three defendants fatally overdosed in a single week last year, it became clear that Buffalo's ordinary drug treatment court was no match for the heroin and painkiller crisis.

Now the city is experimenting with the nation's first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days, requires them to check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week, and puts them on strict curfews. Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.

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