Rhode Island lawmakers held initial hearings on proposal to legalize marijuana last week
Legislative discussions on Gov. Raimondo's proposal to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adult use were front and center last week at the State House. On Tuesday, the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees held a joint hearing on Article 20 of the governor's budget bill, which includes provisions to establish a regulatory system for adult-use marijuana sales. The House Finance Committee held its own hearing on the same legislation on Wednesday.
The original language of the proposal has been amended. To read an updated summary of Article 20, click here. Leaders of Regulate Rhode Island and the Marijuana Policy Project testified in support of the governor's plan, while highlighting serious concerns about some of its provisions. Overall, our priorities in advocating for amendments are:
- Ensuring the medical and adult-use markets are open, fair, and competitive;
- Protecting safe and affordable access for medical marijuana patients;
- Allowing adults to cultivate a limited number of marijuana plants in their homes; and
- Adding provisions to promote social equity, encourage diversity in the marketplace, and address the historical injustices of marijuana prohibition.
Our aim is to see Rhode Island pass the best legalization law possible this year. To do that, we're going to need your help, so please take action and send a message to your state legislators.