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Judge rules against town's restrictive medical pot ordinance

Smithfield wants to enact a medical marijuana ordinance that is stricter than state law. (MGN)

A Rhode Island judge has blocked a town's attempt to go beyond state law by creating a stricter medical marijuana ordinance.

Superior Court Judge Richard Licht issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday that prevents Smithfield from enforcing an amendment to its zoning ordinance that restricts the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana.

The town in April passed an ordinance that limits the number of plants a licensed grower can have to two. Under state law, growers are allowed to have 12 plants.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island filed a lawsuit in June, arguing the ordinance infringes on patients' rights as guaranteed by state law.

Officials have said the ordinance is a way to prevent excessive marijuana sales.

The council's president didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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