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Smithfield leaders want to limit medical marijuana use

The town of Smithfield will go after marijuana growers -- even if they are in conformance with the state regulations on medical marijuana. (WJAR)

The town of Smithfield will go after marijuana growers -- even if they are in conformance with the state regulations on medical marijuana.

The town has created its own regulations and restrictions, including a ban on caregivers, who can grow for patients, and a limit on patients’ plants that is a fraction of the state rules.

“It’s an important medicine for them,” Rhode Island Patient Advocate Joanne Leppanen told NBC 10 News. “What this does -- it takes away their right to grow the plants that they need, it takes away their caregivers. And by what right? It was passed by the legislature.”

The American Civil Liberties Union was in court arguing the same point.

“It’s the city assuming the role of physician and usurping the authority the state statute gives the department of business regulation and department of health, and reaching into the medicine cabinets of the citizens of Smithfield and preventing them from using medical marijuana in line with the state statute,” Attorney John Meara told NBC 10.

Smithfield Town Council President Paul Santucci said the case is in court and would not speak with NBC 10.

Superior Court judge Richard Licht expects to rule on Sept. 25.

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