23 Aug 2014
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Medical Marijuana, Duck Hunting Bills Headed for Hearings

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would legalize marijuana, while also considering another bill that would ban duck hunting near a Portsmouth beach.

Medical Marijuana, Duck Hunting Bills Headed for Hearings

Two bills with Portsmouth ties are heading for consideration and closer to becoming law. 

Lawmakers modify medical marijuana program 

Lawmakers will consider a bill next week that, if approved and signed into law, would place more restrictions on the state's pending medical marijuana program. 

House Bill 7888, co-sponsored by Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist.70,  Portsmouth, Tiverton), would place restrictions on medical marijuana centers or "compassion centers" currently being planned to open. 

Earlier this month, legislative leaders announced they had reached a deal with Gov. Lincoln Chafee that would allow the state's first medical marijuana centers to open their doors, including one in Portsmouth. 

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 Peter F. Neronha issued a letter saying he did not support the centers.

Neronha has since issued another statement, saying since the new deal, which is the new, pending legislation.

The bill is scheduled to be heard Wednesday, March 28, at the State House. 

Lawmaker seeks to ban duck hunting near Portsmouth beach

In February, Rep. Raymond E. Gallison, Jr. (Democrat- District 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) introduced new legislation to prohibit duck hunting near the Kings Grant residential development off West Main Road. 

The legislation was introduced after several  occurring on a nearby beach and much too close to their homes. 

The bill will now be considered at a hearing this Thursday at the State House. 

At the same hearing, lawmakers will also consider passage of House Bill 7351, which would allow the town of Portsmouth to establish a tax exemption for historic preservation sites and would exempt all the property of the Prudence Island Historical Society from taxation, provided it is used for nonprofit purposes. 

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