About Us

Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC) is Rhode Island’s non-profit grassroots medical marijuana community.  Patients, caregivers, doctors, nurses, health care providers, advocates, lawyers, organizations, and residents have joined our coalition. 

RIPAC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible.

The RIPAC Story


RIPAC was founded in 2003 on the principle that patients whose medical practitioners recommend medical marijuana should have safe access to this medicine. We organized patient testimony that led to the 2006 passage of the Medical Marijuana Act, and the 2007 amendment making the Act permanent. Since then, we have advocated tirelessly for patients to have access to quality medical cannabis. We organized the testimony for the 2009 legislation that authorized compassion centers in Rhode Island and have been working diligently ever since to ensure that compassion centers become a reality. We educate patients, caregivers, medical professionals, law enforcement, state officials, the media and the public about the Rhode Island medical marijuana program. RIPAC has worked relentlessly to protect patient rights through education and advocacy. We hold a variety of meetings and forums to educate and connect the patient community.

RIPAC Mission Statement 

The Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC) is a nonprofit organization comprised of local medical marijuana patients, caregivers, doctors, advocacy groups, and others who are interested in medical marijuana.  

RIPAC advances discourse, research, and policy related to medical marijuana in four main areas: patient advocacy, professional education, research, and policy development. 

ADVOCACY:  RIPAC was formed to advocate for patients and the caregivers of those patients who experience therapeutic relief from the use of marijuana. RIPAC works to protect the medical use of marijuana under state law by facilitating dialogue among patients, medical professionals, law enforcement, and policymakers. 

EDUCATION: RIPAC is committed to educating the public and health professionals about the scientific attributes of marijuana and the legal status of such use.  

RESEARCH:  RIPAC is committed to promoting and facilitating marijuana research because we understand that research is crucial to the appropriate medical use of marijuana. 

POLICY:  RIPAC also works to educate RI policymakers during the development, passage, and implementation of RI medical marijuana legislation and programs.  By involving patients, advocates, and their physicians in the policy process, RIPAC hopes to help create medical marijuana systems that are responsive to patients’ needs. 

RIPAC Values

Scientific data indicate a therapeutic role for cannabis for relief of pain, control of nausea and vomiting, appetite stimulation, and other conditions. 

Like any other medical drug, cannabis may affect each person uniquely.   Individuals using marijuana should consult with their medical professional to weigh potential benefits and risks associated with marijuana use.

Medical marijuana patients face some legal risks in addition to possible physiological risks.  RIPAC implores patients and their caregivers to act in accordance with state law and respect the rules and regulations published by the RI Department of Health.

RIPAC believes that there is no substitute for an open and honest discussion about marijuana.  We make use of the First Amendment, which gives us the right to discuss marijuana, print material related to it, assemble at events organized for marijuana law reform, and petition the government to change the laws regarding it.

Coalition Partners and Endorsements

Current organizational members of our coalition include:

  • Senior Agenda Coalition (includes: Alliance for Retired Americans, RI; Alzheimer’s Association RI; Coalition for Consumer Justice; Forum on Aging; Gray Panthers; Homefront Healthcare; Hope Alzheimer’s Center; Meals on Wheels; NRI Community Services; Providence Teachers Retirees Chapter;Rhodes to Independence; RI Adult Day Centers Association; RI Assisted Living Association; RI Federal Retirees; Senior Action in a Gay Environment; Silver Haired Legislature, RI; Westerly Adult Day Services),
  • Ocean State Action (includes: Clean Water Action, Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees Local 217, National Association of Social Workers RI, National Education Association RI, New England Health Care Employees Union District 1199, RI Alliance for Lesbian & Gay Civil Rights, RI chapter of National Organization for Women, 2 to 1: Coalition to Preserve Choice, United Auto Workers Region 9A, United Nurses & Allied Professionals),

RIPAC Legal Disclaimer

RIPAC does not provide legal advice. This website is not a substitute for legal advice and should not be used as such.

RIPAC DOES NOT sell, give, or distribute marijuana in any way.

RIPAC is not responsible for the possession, cultivation, or distribution of marijuana by individuals affiliated with RIPAC.

RIPAC encourages medical marijuana patients and caregivers to abide by Rhode Island state law.

RIPAC is a nonprofit corporation organized exclusively for educational and research purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

All content at http://www.RIpatients.org is for educational and research purposes only.  Content at http://www.RIpatients.org is not intended to promote any activity that is illegal under Rhode Island law.

Users of http://www.RIpatients.org should not rely solely on information provided in this site for their health needs.

Users of http://www.RIpatients.org agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless RIPAC along with its officers, directors, employees, consultants, and agents from any and all third-party claims, liabilities, damages, and/or costs (including, but not limited to, attorneys’ fees), arising from use of http://www.RIpatients.org.

RIPAC does not endorse any candidates running for public office. References to campaign-related activities on http://www.RIpatients.org or within any RIPAC publication are for educational purposes only.