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
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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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.
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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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
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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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