Rhode Island Considers Marijuana Legalization
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Rhode Island Considers Marijuana Legalization
Posted by CN Staff on March 06, 2015 at 08:44:32 PT
By Matt Ferner
Source: Huffington Post
Rhode Island state lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would end marijuana prohibition and establish a system to regulate and tax the weed.“Marijuana prohibition is an ineffective and wasteful policy, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer," state Sen. Joshua Miller (D), sponsor of a Senate bill, said in a statement. "The legislature is perfectly capable of creating a system that will work for Rhode Island.”
Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana in 2006, and recreational marijuana appears to be supported by a majority of the state's voters. A 2014 poll found 52 percent in favor of changing marijuana laws, mirroring national trends. This is the fourth year that legislation to regulate and tax recreational marijuana has been introduced. It's unclear whether state lawmakers will support the new measure.Legalized marijuana would boost the state treasury by $58 million a year in taxes, the Marijuana Policy Project projected.The Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act, introduced in the state House and Senate, would legalize the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana for those age 21 and older. Adult residents could possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow one marijuana plant for personal use. Cultivation would be limited to secure, indoor facilities.Retail stores and facilities to grow and test marijuana would be overseen by the state Department of Business Regulation. Of the taxes generated on marijuana sales, 40 percent would be earmarked for substance abuse treatment, anti-drug public education and law enforcement training. The measure proposes an excise tax of $50 per ounce of marijuana flower, $10 per plant and $15 per ounce of any other marijuana product sold wholesale from cultivators to retailers. A 10 percent sales tax would be applied to all retail sales.Smoking marijuana in public would remain banned.“Regulating marijuana will take sales out of the underground market and allow authorities to keep tabs on the product,” state Rep. Scott Slater (D), sponsor of the House bill, said in a statement. “In a legal market, products are tested, labeled, and packaged appropriately, and consumers will not be exposed to other more harmful substances. Taxing marijuana will generate tens of millions of dollars in new revenue that can be invested in our communities.”Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has said she's taking a "wait and see approach" on marijuana legalization, but added, “If we think it is inevitable and if there is a way to do it that is properly regulated so people don’t get hurt, we should take a look at it.”Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana -- all via voter referendums. Bills similar to Rhode Island's have been introduced this year in Vermont and Maryland.Legal marijuana is the fastest growing industry in the U.S., according to a recent report from industry analysts ArcView Group. In the next five years, 14 more states will legalize recreational marijuana, the report predicts."We want Rhode Island to be a leader on the East Coast and become an early adopter in order to get a competitive edge in the regional market to maximize job creation, tax revenue, and business growth in our state," Jared Moffat, director of the marijuana policy reform group Regulate Rhode Island, told The Huffington Post.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post	Published: March 5, 2015Copyright: 2015, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by The Healing Clinic on March 08, 2015 at 23:46:25 PT:
I think they're going to do it this year. 
They simply can't ignore $58 million per year in taxes, and other states are wising up to it too.
The Healing Clinic
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Comment #3 posted by Mr D on March 06, 2015 at 19:26:54 PT:
Just felt this old knowledge bears relevance proponents of prohibition had believed that banning alcoholic beverages would reduce or even eliminate many social problems, particularly drunkenness, crime, mental illness, and poverty. In 1925 journalist H. L. Mencken believed the opposite to be true:[2]Five years of Prohibition have had, at least, this one benign effect: they have completely disposed of all the favorite arguments of the Prohibitionists. None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic, but more. There is not less crime, but more. There is not less insanity, but more. The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished.--one more for fun--"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."Karl Marx
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on March 06, 2015 at 11:42:08 PT
POLL:Do you support the lawsuit by sheriffs from Colorado and other states seeking to overturn Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana?YESNO
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Comment #1 posted by Mr D on March 06, 2015 at 10:09:05 PT:
100% for their bill and I hope it passes
One plant per household and one ounce per household. I realize this is solely because it would be such a new product in a legal market that just came from 70 some years of being illicit. And I am totally for that. Like NORML and many other activist organizations point out, it's better to get a restricted bill to pass rather than have the perfect bill sit there and not get passed. With that said, one plant and one ounce is lower than what other states are adopting (I know Washington state doesn't allow home cultivation)and it's interesting to know that if you are of legal age to drink and living alone, you could brew up to 100 gallons of beer(per year) and 200 gallons(per year) if there were two or more adults of legal drinking age. I know alcohol has been legal for much longer and over time I expect cannabis laws to settle to be more comparable. But 100 gal, to one plant...(knowing alcohol is much more dangerous of a substance) Okay I'm done, just had to speak ma peace.
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