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Drug prevention group lauds Governor Carcieri's support Lawmaker to be honored in Rhode Island State House ceremony.

Providence, RI (2/16/06) - The Drug Free America Foundation honored Rhode Island Gov. Donald R. Carcieri with the 2006 Moxie Award in a State House ceremony on Thursday, February 16th for his efforts to battle drug use in Rhode Island by vetoing legislation that legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
    "We are deeply grateful Governor Donald Carcieri for his sincere and tireless efforts to protect the children of Rhode Island from the dangers of drugs," said Calvina Fay, Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation.  "We applaud Governor Carcieri for recognizing that young people are at risk when legalized marijuana is made readily available to them."
      In addition to the Moxie Award, Drug Free America Foundation is donating $1,000 to be used for drug treatment for a specific child in Rhode Island in the Governor's name.
    Last summer Governor Carcieri vetoed legislation authorizing the use of marijuana as a so-called medicine.  Citing numerous reasons, Carcieri's office issued a statement last month detailing his oppositionto the bill.    
    He rightfully argued that the measure would actually increase criminal activity in Rhode Island because the legislation does not contain provisions outlining how marijuana could be purchased legally. He said drug users would still be forced to obtain marijuana from street dealers, putting Rhode Island residents at risk of criminal activity. Carcieri also pointed out that the bill does not contain restrictions over where marijuana could be grown and stored, raising a public safety
concern. In addition, Governor Carcieri raised the issue that the bill itself is in conflict with federal law.  The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that state laws permitting the use of so-called medicinal marijuana do not supercede federal laws criminalizing marijuana use.
    "We are appreciative and thankful for Governor Carcieri's thoughtful approach to examining the issues of drug dependency and drug abuse," said Fay.  "He is a pragmatic leader who sees the facts for what they are.  Drugs are dangerous, and marijuana is a threat to the well-being of the children of Rhode Island.  Thank you, Governor Carcieri, for recognizing the problem and responding appropriately."
     "Today's marijuana is much more powerful and much more addictive than it
was a generation ago," Fay said.The medical fraud marijuana initiatives are a Trojan horse for
legalizing the drug without regard to the harm it does in other ways. 7.1 million Americans suffer from illegal drug dependence or abuse, and more than 60 percent of young people in treatment are there for marijuana dependency. Even more troubling, children and other young people are at the greatest risk.  "Of all teenagers in drug treatment in 2000, about 62 percent had a primary marijuana diagnosis.  More young people are now in treatment for marijuana dependency than for alcohol or for all other illegal drugs combined," Fay said.
    Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. is a drug prevention and policy organization committed to developing, promoting and sustaining global strategies, policies and laws that will reduce illegal drug use, drug addiction, drug-related injury and death.