Rolling Stone magazine has ranked Rhode Island as the fourth most likely state to legalize marijuana, and notes that we could become the first state to do so through the legislative process rather than by voter referendum.
Pot watchers believe little Rhode Island may be the first state to legalize through the state legislature instead of a popular referendum. ”I’m hoping this goes nowhere,” one prominent opponent in the state House told the Boston Globe. ”But I think we’re getting closer and closer to doing this.”
Back in June 2012, lawmakers in Providence jumped on the decriminalization bandwagon, replacing misdemeanor charges for adult recreational use with a civil fine of $150. (Youth pay the same fine but also have to attend a drug education class and perform community service.)
In the wake of Colorado and Washington’s new state laws, Rhode Island has joined a slate of New England states that are vowing to vote on tax-and-regulate bills. A regulated marijuana market in Rhode Island could reap the state nearly $30 million in new tax revenue and reduced law enforcement costs. ”Our prohibition has failed,” said Rep. Edith Ajello of Providence, who is sponsoring the bill. ”Legalizing and taxing it, just as we did to alcohol, is the way to do it.”
Jan Wenner may think David Klepper reports for the Boston Globe, but here in the fourth most likely state to legalize it, we know he works for the AP.
Here’s the seven states, in order, Rolling Stone says is “debating the merits of treating marijuana less like crystal meth and more like Jim Beam.”
- Rhode Island