After the State of Massachusetts legalized the use of marijuana only a few months ago, the second in line, Rhode Island was soon to do the same. According to reports, several Rhode Island legislatures are now considering to pass a bill that legalizes the use of marijuana in the State of Rhode Island, something that has been pushed for by senate majority leader Dominick Ruggerio in the past and other high ranking cosponsors of the last marijuana legalization bill.
The Public Policy Polling Organization conducted a poll which should that 59% of voters support the legalization of marijuana. If the bill is passed, Rhode Island will become the third state in New England to have the use of marijuana regulated. Rep. Scott Slater and Sen. Joshua Miller were the first to introduce the Cannabis Regulation, Control and Taxation Act thanks to the growing number of support from the voters, who also believe that its time that Rhode Island did away with its senseless policy.
The good news for many who are pushing for the legalization of marijuana is that the polls indicate a majority support in favor for marijuana legalization in all 1,212 square miles of Rhode Island. This is because most residents of Rhode Island recognize the fact that the prohibition of marijuana use ahs only led to health and safety concerns, which could have been avoided. If the marijuana legalization bill is passed in the State of Rhode Island, it would not only create more job opportunities for residents, but will also encourage entrepreneurs to invest in the marijuana industry, which will be a positive thing for the government as well.
According to the Cannabis Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, marijuana will only be legalized for adults who are at least 21 or older. The new regulation also makes it clear that each individual who is allowed under the new marijuana legalization law can only possess up to an ounce of marijuana at a time. In another part of the lengthy bill, it has been indicated that those who wish to grown marijuana at home can only grown one mature marijuana plant either in a locked or enclosed space. The bill also offers a solution for the supply and distribution of the legalized marijuana, stating that an office of cannabis coordination will be established within the executive branch, whose main responsibility will be to establish a system of licensed marijuana retailers, testing, cultivation and processing facilities within the state. The excise tax on marijuana sales has been set at 23% which will be in addition to the 7% standard sales tax.
According to a senior senator, the primary considerations of legalizing marijuana in Rhode Island is not the creation of new jobs or addition of tax revenue. The main objective of this new bill, if passed will be to curb the use of an illicit substance with something that is regulated and responsibly used. If the bill is in fact passed, it could spell good news for residents of Rhode Island since having a regulated market where consumers know what they are getting and do not have to worry about pesticides being used in the products. Furthermore, the workers in a regulated marijuana economy have Federal protection such as insurance and social security. In a regulated marijuana environment, everybody wins, since the government is able to collect tax from legitimate tax-paying businesses.