Law enforcement pushing for marijuana law changes

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Law enforcement officials are pushing for changes to Rhode Island's medical marijuana law to address public safety issues they attribute to the program.

The attorney general's office says marijuana cultivation under the program has created safety risks and a "new class of crime victim." Authorities say growers have become the targets of break-ins and assaults.

Legislation under consideration would reduce the number of allowable plants, require a cultivation certificate for growers, institute national criminal background checks for caregiver applicants and allow police to more easily verify whether someone is authorized to grow.

The Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition says the bill cuts the number of plants too much and jeopardizes patients' access to medicine. Executive Director JoAnne Leppanen says most in the program follow the rules.

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