RI governor backs off medical marijuana centers

September 29, 2011 - 7:30 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's governor says his state won't proceed with a plan to license medical marijuana centers because the state law allowing for the three centers is illegal under federal law.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) said Thursday he's convinced that the state should not implement the "compassion center" law because it will become a target of federal law enforcement. He said seizures of marijuana and prosecutions would harm patients and caregivers who use or administer marijuana for therapeutic purposes.

The state picked three facilities to dispense marijuana under the law. Last spring Chafee suspended plans to open the facilities after federal prosecutors warned the dispensaries could face prosecution for violating federal drug laws.

Chafee says he will work with state lawmakers to fix flaws in the law.