Lawmakers Consider Studying Marijuana Legalization While Advocates Push For A Vote

May 16, 2017

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on a bill Tuesday that would create a commission to study the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island. The 15-member commission would look at the financial impacts of legalization in states like Colorado.

Supporters of legalization are planning to rally at the State House Tuesday afternoon protesting the bill. They argue creating a commission would only further delay a vote on legalization that’s been considered by lawmakers for seven years.

Matthew Schweich is director of state campaigns with the Marijuana Policy Project, a national marijuana legalization advocate. He says Ocean State residents should know where their representatives stand on the issue.

“It should not be the case that legislation only receives a vote if legislative leadership has approved the pre-determined result,” said Schweich, who plans to attend the rally.

If the House Judiciary Committee votes in favor of creating a commission, the group would have until March 2018 to craft its recommendations.