Happy Friday, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. 

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to hear a slate of bills Tuesday about marijuana.  One bill would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Rhode Island.

Lawmakers will once again consider legalizing the use and possession of marijuana for adults over 21. The idea is to regulate and tax the drug like alcohol. Proponents say that would cut down jail time for small-time offenders and increase state revenue.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Anthony Giarrusso (R-East Greenwich) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss Governor Raimondo's budget proposal; the PawSox' possible move to Providence; and the outlook on gambling revenue and legalizing marijuana.

Federal Wildlife Service

The House Judiciary Committee is slated to hear Wednesday a series of bills about marijuana.

One bill proposes to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over.  The drug would be regulated and taxed like alcohol, which proponents say would bring in new tax revenue for the state.  But opponents point to the potential negative impact on health and public safety.

Federal Wildlife Service

Brown University hosts a forum Tuesday on legalizing marijuana. The event will feature doctors and researchers with perspective on the health effects of marijuana. 

Brown University hosts a forum Tuesday on legalizing marijuana. The event will feature doctors and researchers with perspective on the health effects of marijuana. Other experts will discuss public safety issues and the cost of regulating and taxing marijuana.

The forum comes as Rhode Island lawmakers consider once again whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Proponents say it will make marijuana sales safer and reduce unnecessary jail time. Opponents point to the adverse health effects of marijuana, including the potential for addiction.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello joins Bonus Q+A to discuss the PawSox' proposal for a Providence stadium; state efforts to curb Medicaid spending; the state of ethics reform at the Statehouse; and much more.

You can hear more of our conversation with Speaker Mattiello on Political Roundtable.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In the past few weeks, two medical marijuana patients in Rhode Island have faced legal problems arising from their use of the substance. The cases hinge on a conflict between federal and state laws. Now, new federal legislation seeks to address the problem.

John Bender / RIPR

The state’s first medical marijuana vapor lounge opened this weekend in Providence, but the legality of the lounge remains murky.

Elevated Vapor Lounge, located in downtown Providence opened Saturday.  Rhode Island medical marijuana patients can utilize the space to vaporize their doctor prescribed product.  And since state law bans smoking indoors, vaporizing is only thing allowed.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2006. Federal law continues to ban its sale.


Supporters of legalizing the retail sale of marijuana to adults will make their case at the statehouse Tuesday.  It’s not the first time lawmakers have attempted to decriminalize pot.

State lawmakers are scheduled to consider several marijuana-related bills this evening. At issue is expanding access to medical marijuana and, once again, legalizing the drug for anyone over the age of 21.

Seven marijuana-related bills are before the House Committee on Judiciary. One would legalize marijuana for all adults, regulating it like alcohol and taxing sales. That’s been proposed before and failed, but other states have since legalized it.

RI Students Arrested for Drug-Laced Candy

Apr 8, 2014

Police say they have made several arrests after a Richmond teenager required medical attention from consuming marijuana-laced candy. One 14-year-old was charged with drug crimes in connection with the incident while another was caught with drug-laced candy and prescription pills. A Chariho High School student was arrested for drug crimes on Monday.

Richmond Police Chief Elwood Johnson said the candy could have contained more than just THC.

The New England Area Conference of the NAACP, comprising chapters in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, is supporting legislation to legalize marijuana here and regulate it like alcohol.

A bill is making its way through Rhode Island's General Assembly that would legalize marijuana and regulate and tax it like alcohol. Possessing small amounts has already been decriminalized here. And interest has been growing in legalization for a while.

Proponents say that legalizing the drug would keep harmless people out of jail. Opponents say marijuana is just as dangerous as any other drug and should remain illegal.

The arguments are heating up.

Barrington police are investigating an unusual drug case. On Sunday, someone left a bag of marijuana outside the Carmelite Monastery in Barrington.

Around 2:30pm Sunday a sister at the Carmelite Monastery in Barrington saw a person drop a package underneath a bush near the parking lot.  The sisters went out to investigate and were surprised to find the bag contained what appeared to be marijuana.