Rhode Island May Follow Massachusetts Lead And Legalize Cannabis

Rhode Island leaders are looking at following Massachusetts on the path to legalizing recreational marijuana.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said Tuesday she’ll take a more serious look after Massachusetts voters approved a pot legalization ballot measure last week.

The Democrat says it’s not a race to get ahead of the neighboring state. She wants to get the regulations right and remains concerned about safety.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he’s ready to take up legislation next year because marijuana will become readily available to Rhode Islanders traveling across the Massachusetts border, causing concerns without the tax revenues to address them.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio says he’s also preparing to act.

Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Massachusetts on December 15 but retail sales won’t begin until at least 2018.

Banner photo: Providence, Rhode Island. (Shutterstock)

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After making progress on marijuana reform, the legalization movement has stalled in two New England states. Cannabis became legal in Vermont last July, but state lawmakers did not put a regulated market for marijuana in place at that time. So while adults in Vermont can possess, grow and consume cannabis, they can't buy it legally.

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