2009 Rhode Island Code
Title 21 - Food And Drugs
CHAPTER 21-28.6 - The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act
§ 21-28.6-4 - Protections for the medical use of marijuana.

SECTION 21-28.6-4

   § 21-28.6-4  Protections for the medical use of marijuana. – (a) A qualifying patient who has in his or her possession a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marijuana; provided, that the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed twelve (12) mature marijuana plants and two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana. Said plants shall be stored in an indoor facility.

   (b) No school, employer or landlord may refuse to enroll, employ or lease to or otherwise penalize a person solely for his or her status as a cardholder.

   (c) A primary caregiver, who has in his or her possession, a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for assisting a qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process with the medical use of marijuana; provided, that the primary caregiver possesses an amount of marijuana which does not exceed twelve (12) mature marijuana plants and two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana for each qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process.

   (d) Registered primary caregivers and registered qualifying patients shall be allowed to possess a reasonable amount of unusable marijuana, including up to twelve (12) seedlings, which shall not be counted toward the limits in this section.

   (e) There shall exist a presumption that a qualifying patient or primary caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marijuana if the qualifying patient or primary caregiver:

   (1) Is in possession of a registry identification card; and

   (2) Is in possession of an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the amount permitted under this chapter. Such presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to marijuana was not for the purpose of alleviating the qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the medical condition.

   (f) A primary caregiver may receive reimbursement for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana. Compensation shall not constitute sale of controlled substances.

   (g) A practitioner shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline or by any another business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau solely for providing written certifications or for otherwise stating that, in the practitioner's professional opinion, the potential benefits of the medical marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for a patient.

   (h) Any interest in or right to property that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical use of marijuana, or acts incidental to such use, shall not be forfeited.

   (i) No person shall be subject to arrest or prosecution for constructive possession, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, being an accessory, or any other offense for simply being in the presence or vicinity of the medical use of marijuana as permitted under this chapter or for assisting a registered qualifying patient with using or administering marijuana.

   (j) A practitioner nurse or pharmacist shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau solely for discussing the benefits or health risks of medical marijuana or its interaction with other substances with a patient.

   (k) A registry identification card, or its equivalent, issued under the laws of another state, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia to permit the medical use of marijuana by a patient with a debilitating medical condition, or to permit a person to assist with the medical use of marijuana by a patient with a debilitating medical condition, shall have the same force and effect as a registry identification card issued by the department.

   (l) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 21-28.6-3(6) or subsection 21-28.6-4(c), no primary caregiver other than a compassion center shall possess an amount of marijuana in excess of twenty-four (24) marijuana plants and five (5) ounces of usable marijuana for qualifying patients to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process.

   (m) A registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver may give marijuana to another registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver to whom they are not connected by the department's registration process, provided that no consideration is paid for the marijuana, and that the recipient does not exceed the limits specified in § 21-28.6-4.

   (n) For the purposes of medical care, including organ transplants, a registered qualifying patient's authorized use of marijuana shall be considered the equivalent of the authorized use of any other medication used at the direction of a physician, and shall not constitute the use of an illicit substance.

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