U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha says the Department of Justice does not plan to review to regulate the distribution of marijuana for medicinal use.
On his Web site Monday, Neronha released the following statement, claiming the federal department has not changed its opinion on the issue.
“The policies and position of the Department of Justice on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in jurisdictions that have under consideration, or have implemented, legislation that would sanction and regulate the commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana purportedly for medical use, have not changed.
"Therefore, we have not nor do we intend to review or discuss legislation on this topic which, according to media reports, was recently submitted for consideration by the Rhode Island Legislature. To be clear, at no time has there been any contact or communication between any state official and this Office concerning any such legislation.”
Last spring, in Portsmouth was one of three medical marijuana centers, or compassion centers, in Rhode Island approved for licenses by the Department of Health.
But the process got put on hold by Gov. Chafee in May, after U.S. Attorney Neronha issued a letter saying he did not support the centers.
On Friday, lawmakers announced the introduction of new legislation, sponsored by Sen. Rhoda E. Perry and Rep. Scott A. Slater, that will put stricter limits on compassion centers. The governor is said to support this new legislation, (2012-S 2555).