GOP House Leader Calling for Legal Marijuana in Rhode Island

The Republican chief in Rhode Island’s House of Representatives thinks the state ought to absolutely legalize marijuana.

But whereas that information would sometimes bode nicely for reform efforts in state legislatures, the issue is that the Democratic speaker isn’t fairly on board — and the House is dominantly managed by Democrats.

In an interview with Rhode Island NPR affiliate WNPN-FM on Nov. 30, 2018, Minority Leader Blake Filippi was requested to weigh in on Massachusetts’ newly carried out adult-use hashish program and stated straightaway that he believes “it ought to be authorized.” However, anybody caught promoting marijuana to youngsters ought to be despatched to jail, he added.

“It’s very encouraging to see this kind of public and unhesitating support for legalizing marijuana from the House GOP leader on an issue that virtually all Rhode Island progressives are already behind,” Jared Moffat, Rhode Island political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, informed Marijuana Moment. “That kind of bipartisan support is what we need to get a bill through in 2019.”

Filippi additionally stated in the radio interview that issues with visitors congestion in Massachusetts cities, the place solely two dispensaries are at present working, might have been prevented by opening 15 to 20 shops on the similar time, as an alternative of the state’s staggered strategy.

“That would have alleviated many of the problems.”

On the opposite aspect of the aisle, the Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello isn’t able to embrace marijuana legalization, however final month he advised Providence CBS affiliate WPRI-TV that he would “think about all choices.

In a later e mail, he acknowledged the potential financial advantages of legalization, however stated “it will also increase social costs and public safety concerns.”

“We will have to determine what the net impact would be for Rhode Island in light of the legal sales in Massachusetts and other states, and I look forward to collaborating with my House colleagues in the next legislative session and listening to the views of our citizens.”

During a debate in the run-up to the election Nov. 6, 2018, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo appeared to echo Mattiello’s considerations, saying that she’s “open” to legalization however “cautious” about it. Legal marijuana packages are “hard to regulate so it doesn’t get into the hands of kids,” she stated.

For his half, Filippi’s help for legalization seems rooted in a libertarian ideology. Later in his radio interview, the lawmaker burdened the significance of championing private liberties and limiting the position of presidency “in our private lives, in our homes, and in our wallets.”

This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment underneath a content material syndication settlement. Read the unique article right here.


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