Tell Gina Raimondo: NO TAGS for Medical Marijuana Plants!!
Gina Raimondo has proposed legislation to tag medical marijuana plants at a cost of $150 per plant for patients and $350 per plant for caregivers. In the State of RI there are approximately 12,000 medical marijuana patients, according to an article entitled, "Number of Medical Marijuana Patients in RI Skyrockets", posted on July 22, 2015 in The Providence Journal, written by Jennifer Bogdan. Each of these patients is allowed 2 caregivers. Each caregiver is allowed to grow up to 24 plants. Each patient is allowed to grow 6 plants. If each caregiver was forced to purchase a tax stamp for each plant it would cost at least $2,100 for 6 plants, up to $8400 for the maximum 24 plants per year. As it stands caregivers in the state of RI are already paying $200 per year plus a fee of $30-$40 for national background checks. At an estimated 24,000 caregivers, 2 for each patient, that total comes to $5,640,000. YES MILLION!! This money goes directly to the state of RI. In comparison patients pay $100 per year for their licenses and at 12,000 patients that total amounts to approximately $1,200,000 per year, directly to the state of RI. Total these together and the state of RI already makes $6,840,000 per year just from licensing! Never mind the retail taxes paid for growing supplies, electricity, set up fees, and equipment which I'm sure totals somewhere in the millions. This is not fair to those of us who are supplying those in need with the medicine that eases their lives. We as caregivers are not doing this to make money, as Gina Raimondo would have you believe. We do this because some people can't, people who are suffering from illnesses that do not respond to conventional medications, people who cannot afford to spend inflated prices at a compassion center. Considering the huge issue we have with opioid overdose and addiction in the state of RI it is shocking to me that they would choose to penalize those who are providing a safe alternative. This decision is not about the safety of patients, the state of RI is simply being greedy! In my opinion Every caregiver in this state should not be subjected to an extra $350 per plant to provide their services. I foresee most caregivers not being caregivers anymore. If this were to happen then the state would lose $5,640,000 per year from those licensing and background check fees! Why would any caregiver continue to be a caregiver when a patient can grow their own plants and pay $150 per plant rather than assign a caregiver to pay $350 per plant? This legislation will not make the $8.4 million that they perceive, they will lose caregivers and as a result lose $5,640,000 a year instead! Sign this petition and tell Gina Raimondo and the state of RI that we will not pay more money! We will denounce our caregiver status instead and save ourselves millions of dollars!