Once again, Rhode Island lawmakers plan to introduce legislation that would legalize recreational use of marijuana. The legislators unveil their proposal today at the Capitol.
The news comes on the heels of Massachusetts’ recent legalization of the drug (although retail sales have been pushed back to 2018). But lawmakers in Rhode Island have been trying to pass a similar measure in the Ocean State for years. Sponsors include Senator Josh Miller and Representative Scott Slater.
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.
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.