• ACLU to challenge RI medical pot policy change


    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union says it will file a lawsuit challenging the state's decision to no longer accept medical marijuana applications signed by nurse practitioners and physician's assistants.

    The ACLU plans to discuss the lawsuit Tuesday. Medical marijuana advocate JoAnne Leppanen says Rhode Island began insisting in the summer that patients seeking to participate in the medical marijuana program obtain an application signed by a physician. The state had previously accepted applications signed by physician's assistants and nurse practitioners.

    Leppanen says the change makes it harder for seriously ill people to get the medicine they need. She questions whether the state followed its own rulemaking process when it changed the policy.

    A spokeswoman for the health department confirmed the new policy Monday but had no further information.

    Next Up: