Tag Archives: Josh Miller

Rhode Island Legislators Announce Intent to End Marijuana Prohibition

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Sen. Josh Miller

Rhode Island Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Josh Miller and House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Edith Ajello held a press conference today to announce that they will introduce a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol. The founder of Brown University’s Alcohol & Addiction Studies Center, a former Providence police officer, and other opinion leaders joined them to call for this more sensible approach. 

The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act is similar to the laws in Colorado and Washington. The proposal would allow individuals 21 and older to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana. It also directs the Department of Revenue to license and regulate marijuana producers and 10 retail marijuana stores. This sensible approach to marijuana would create new industries with new jobs and raise needed revenue for the state. It would also allow law enforcement focus on more serious crimes.

MPP and Regulate Rhode Island are working hard to ensure that this is the year Rhode Island ends its marijuana prohibition, but we need your help. If you are a Rhode Island resident, email your lawmakers and ask them to support this important legislation and then ask your friends and family in the Ocean State to do the same.

Finally, if you have experienced first-hand how problematic marijuana prohibition is, take a few moments to tell us your story.

Rhode Island Bill to Regulate Marijuana Coming Soon

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Rep. Edith Ajello

State Representative Edith Ajello (D – Providence) and state Senator Josh Miller (D –Cranston) are currently reaching out to their colleagues to ask them to sign on to their proposal to replace Rhode Island’s marijuana prohibition with a system that regulates marijuana for adults’ use. If you are a Rhode Island residentemail your state representative and senator today and ask them to sign on to this bill as a cosponsor!

The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act is similar to the laws that voters approved in Colorado and Washington in 2012. The proposal would allow individuals 21 and older to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana. It also directs the Department of Revenue to license and regulate marijuana producers and retail marijuana stores. This sensible approach to marijuana would create new industries with new jobs and raise needed revenue for the state. It would also allow law enforcement focus on more serious crimes.

Marijuana Possession No Longer Criminal in Rhode Island

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Gov. Lincoln Chafee

As of yesterday, April 1, 2013, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is no longer subject to an arrest, a criminal charge, or the threat of jail time under Rhode Island law! Thanks to legislation sponsored by Sen. Josh Miller and Rep. John “Jay” Edwards and signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, individuals found in possession of up to an ounce of marijuana will now be given a civil citation of $150. Those under 18 will also have their parents notified and will be required to attend an alcohol and drug education course and perform community service. Third and subsequent violations within 18 months are still grounds for a misdemeanor.

This MPP-led effort is yet another step towards rational marijuana policy. Until marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol, sales will remain uncontrolled, and they will continue to prop up drug cartels instead of legitimate Rhode Island businesses. Repealing criminal penalties for marijuana possession slows the bleeding, but repealing marijuana prohibition will heal the wound.

If you are a Rhode Island residentplease email your lawmakers and urge them to support the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act.