smart approaches to marijuana

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Rhode Island lawmakers have once again introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Proponents want to tax and regulate the drug like alcohol.

Lawmakers have been trying to pass marijuana legalization laws for years. This time they can point to the experiences of several other states that have already passed such laws. The Senate bill would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to have up to an ounce of pot, or grow a couple of plants at home. It would also allow retailers to sell marijuana, as long as they include a safety warning.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union shows blacks are much more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, even though national studies show both races use the drug at roughly similar rates. The study calls for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

A state law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana takes effect today. But support for the new law is mixed.