Lawmakers Try Again To Legalize Marijuana

Mar 6, 2015

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.

Cannabis plant
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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.

Proponents, such as the group Regulate Rhode Island, say taxing the drug would raise tens of millions of dollars for the state. Plus it would keep marijuana sales out of the shadows, reducing arrests for low level offenses. Opponents, including the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, say marijuana is addictive, and that legalizing it poses too many risks. 

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