TITLE 21
Food And Drugs

CHAPTER 21-28.6
The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act

SECTION 21-28.6-4


   § 21-28.6-4  Protections for the medical use of marijuana. – (a) A patient cardholder 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 patient cardholder 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) A patient cardholder, 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 selling, giving, or distributing marijuana of the type, and in an amount not to exceed, that set forth in subsection (a) above, that he or she has cultivated or manufactured pursuant to this chapter, to a compassion center cardholder.

   (c) 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. Provided, however, due to the safety and welfare concern for other tenants, the property, and the public, as a whole, a landlord may have the discretion not to lease, or continue to lease, to a cardholder who cultivates marijuana in the leased premises.

   (d) A primary caregiver cardholder, 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 patient cardholder, to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process, with the medical use of marijuana; provided, that the primary caregiver cardholder 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 for each patient cardholder to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process.

   (e) A cardholder shall be allowed to possess a reasonable amount of unusable marijuana, including up to twelve (12) seedlings, that shall not be counted toward the limits in this section.

   (f) There shall exist a presumption that a cardholder is engaged in the medical use of marijuana if the cardholder:

   (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.

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

   (h) A natural person primary caregiver cardholder, 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 selling, giving, or distributing marijuana, of the type, and in an amount not to exceed that, set forth in subsection (d) above, to a compassion center cardholder if:

   (1) The natural person primary caregiver cardholder cultivated the marijuana pursuant to this chapter, not to exceed the limits of paragraph (d) above; and

   (2) Each patient cardholder the caregiver cardholder is connected with through the department's registration process has been provided an adequate amount of the marijuana to meet his or her medical needs, not to exceed the limits of subsection (a) above.

   (i) 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 other 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.

   (j) 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.

   (k) 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 patient cardholder with using or administering marijuana.

   (l) 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.

   (m) 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.

   (n) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 21-28.6-4(d) or § 21-28.6-4(e), no primary caregiver cardholder, 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 patient cardholders to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process.

   (o) A cardholder may give marijuana to another cardholder 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.

   (p) For the purposes of medical care, including organ transplants, a patient cardholder'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.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2005, ch. 442, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 443, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 72, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 495, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 16, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 17, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 88, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 118, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 515, § 2.)