Brief: Rhode Island Activists to Attempt Marijuana Legalization in 2015

A political coalition called Regulate Rhode Island is making a push for Rhode Island legislators to legalize recreational marijuana in their state during the 2015 General Assembly, reports the Providence Journal. If successful, Rhode Island would become the fifth state to legalize marijuana and the first state to do so via the legislature.

“The results are in, and marijuana prohibition is on its way out,” said Director of Regulate Rhode Island Jared Moffat, who believes that at least five more states could pass some form of cannabis legalization by the end of the 2016 election season.

“Americans are fed up with wasteful and ineffective laws that punish adults for using a less harmful substance than alcohol. The [election] results are particularly encouraging since voter turnout during a midterm … is typically smaller, older, and more conservative. Clearly, support for ending marijuana prohibition spans the political and ideological spectrums.”

A 2014 legalization push led by Rep. Edith Ajello (D-Providence) and Sen. Joshua Miller died in the General Assembly. The proposed law would have generated important tax revenue, as the state is currently struggling with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.

Rhode Island is currently one of 23 states that allow access to medical marijuana.

Earlier this year, a poll revealed that the state of Rhode Island actually has the highest percentage of marijuana smokers per capita in the country, with 13% (or 1 in 8) of all citizens aged 12 and over having used the drug within a month before the polling.

Sources:

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/health/marijuana/20141106-regulate-ri-continues-to-push-for-legalizing-marijuana.ece

Photo Credit: Sean

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