Earlier this year, Gov. Gina Raimondo submitted her annual budget proposal to the General Assembly. Like last year’s, the proposed legislation includes a plan to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults’ use. You can read a summary of it here.
We’re happy to see the governor once again leading on this issue, and as we advocated last year, this year’s legislation does more to address the harms created by decades of marijuana criminalization, including the creation of a Community Equity and Reinvestment Council. However, we also have significant concerns about the proposal as currently written.
We are asking members of the General Assembly to amend the legislation in three key ways:
- In case of a conflict with federal law, the law should establish a privately run system of retail stores as a back up to replace state-run establishments.
- Legislators should remove the ban on people with prior drug felonies from owning and operating a marijuana business.
- The law should allow adults to cultivate a small number of plants in their residences.
With these amendments, we believe the governor’s proposal would be greatly improved and would urge state legislators to pass it.