Lawmakers in Rhode Island Announce Marijuana Legalization Legislation

At a press conference this afternoon, State Senator Josh Miller (D-Cranston) and Representative Edith H. Ajello (D-Providence) will announce and discuss their proposed legislation that would make Rhode Island the third state in the country to legalize and regulate the possession, cultivation, and retail sale of cannabis for adults.

This legislation would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to two marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked space. It would establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities.

“Rhode Island now joins over a dozen other state legislatures that are debating measures to legalize marijuana this year,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “A majority of Rhode Island voters, and Americans in general, support replacing our failed prohibition policy with one of regulation. Elected officials are wise to see that the desires of their constituents are being represented and we commend Representative Ajello and Senator Miller for being leaders on this issue.”

RHODE ISLAND RESIDENTS: Please consider calling your members of the state Senate and House of Representatives to urge them to co-sponsor this important legislation. Click here to find out who your elected officials are and their contact information.

Suggested script:

Hi my name is (name), and I live in (city/town) in your legislative district. As you might know (Chairwoman Edith Ajello/Senator Josh Miller) is introducing a bill to tax, regulate, and control marijuana like alcohol. (He/She) is currently recruiting co-sponsors for this important bill. Our current policy of marijuana prohibition has been a total failure, and when something is broken, it needs to be fixed. Regulating marijuana is the right solution because it would take control away from illegal dealers, and it would help Rhode Island’s economy. I urge you to join (Chairwoman Ajello/Senator Miller) and co-sponsor this sensible legislation. Thank you.

You can also click here to quickly and easily email your elected officials in support of this legislation using NORML’s Take Action Center.

NORML will keep you updated as this legislation moves forward.

22 thoughts

  1. I wonder why we aren’t required, when brewing beer or making wine at home, to do so in an enclosed, locked space?

  2. I look forward to RI being the first state on the East Coast to legalize. Been there already, very nice state, been back, and have reason to visit even more.

  3. I’ve got a close friend with 3 kids growing up in the house and he and his wife like beer. They like to brew beer. They like to brew beer in 10 or 20 gallon batches and store it kegs.

    They like cold beer. They cold beer on tap. They keep at least on keg on tap in the basement at all times, with a nice CO2 system.

    So screw this proposal. I’m tired of being treated like a black person in the South after the Civil War. Why are we still being persecuted? Two plants is absurd, everyone that grows will still be a criminal

  4. Volunteer,
    Nothing of what you just said makes any sense whatsoever. The fact that you’re saying you being treated like a black in the South after the Civil War shows how intelligent you are. I’m sure your friend with the three kids and wife would agree that what you said is completely stupid. Cold beer? Who doesn’t like cold Beer? WTF?
    This proposal is what RI needs to generate millions in tax and get this state I call hime back where it needs to be. Could generate over 26M annually. Much more the beer. Next time consider the facts before you say something as stupid as you did Assface.

  5. Sorry Esteve, didn’t realize you couldn’t handle simple intellectual leaps.

    My friend is able to make and posess 200 gallons of beer or spirits in the house. These drugs cause thousands of lethal overdoses per year, and 100,000+ deaths per year from long-term use. Society appears to be especially concerned about young people abusing these drugs. Yet my friends are free to have the 200 gallons of beer or vodka in the basement, right where their kids can access it anytime, without any state law regulating locks, or potency, etc.

    And yet, this proposal would allow only 2 plants of herbal cannabis to be cultivated in the house. If that isn’t the cannabis community being singled out for persecution, I don’t know what is.

    Everyone that grows will have more than 2 plants. So you tell me – what’s going to happen when police are called into the home of poor and minority folks who have more than 2 plants? They’ll be arrested, kids taken away, lives ruined by criminal records and sanctions.

    Sounds an awful lot like the Jim Crow south.

    But I’m sure from your ad hominem insults that you’re probably a white spoiled kid from the suburbs, so you don’t have to worry.

  6. Why on earth are they holding back on legalization when all the money would go back into Rhode Islands economy. Take the black market money and put it into the economy it’s a no brainier !!!

  7. Live in Connecticut and plan to visit often when this goes! Cannabis has helped since my brain surgery.

    Don’t be a quitter RI keep pressing ahead. I do not follow the law if it’s not reasonable and interferes with my Freedom….this is a free country?

    Legalize Freedom in US

  8. It’s laughable how marijuana is treated like some sort of radioactive toxic substance that has to be transported and stored with such great care, let alone this whole debate about whether adults should be allowed to purchase and consume it. As one of the most benign substances known, I think the truth is going to bear itself out and we’ll look back on this all and laugh.

  9. @volunteer…I’m with you, friend, obviously no one can consume 100 bottles of wine in a day, but are allowed to have as many on hand as they wish. Also, it’s obvious that no one can consume 5 pounds of cannabis in a day, but having an ounce each of 100 of my favorite varieties should be allowed. The humidor would have a new use. I also don’t think everyone who drinks is a drunk, just as I don’t believe everyone who uses drugs is an addict, yet this is what the prohibitionists keep throwing in all our faces. Keep up the fight, America. Go and legalize Rhode Island! You won’t be disappointed.

  10. For me the main relevance is that we live in a democracy. “Rule by the people.” What the prohibitionists and federal anti-legalization czars say is irrelevant. The majority of the populous is for legalization. In a true democracy we should not have to delve any deeper.

  11. >Volunteer – Well said !
    Our treatment of behaviour must be proportional to the harm it causes and how wrong it is. People are still advocating ludicrously disproportionate treatment of cannabis based on it’s harm compared to the likes of tobacco, alcohol and firearms. No system of good order can exist without sensible penalties and rewards to guide people’s choices. It is the equivalent of a shoot to kill policy for jaywalking crimes.
    ( although one can do an awful lot with 2 plants if you know how ! – it’s better than none! )

  12. Volunteer: I understand your anger and feel the same way. But I ask you kindly to please not sneer at this proposal. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than the alternative which is more prohibition and prohibition is a crime against humanity.

    If we wait for the perfect proposal, then legalization wouldn’t happen until the year 2200. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but I saw what happened in California. A lot of people thought prop 19 wasn’t good enough and shot it down thinking that a better proposal would come in 2012. Well it’s 2014 and California is nowhere closer to legalization and now we are being to told to wait until 2016. That’s six years too long!

    Please support what Rhode Island is doing. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. There will be time down the road to make improvements, but first we need to tear down the wall of prohibition.

  13. This is great. Colorado hasn’t turned into a violent MadMax wasteland. We have to crack the ice on the East Coast with this somewhere. Let it start with Little Rhody.

  14. How often do lawmakers pass legislation that doesn’t cost the taxpayer money? Not very often! This may help keep taxes lower.

  15. We in Connecticut and Massachusetts will be visiting Rhode Island to taste the burning embers that swirl in and out, thank-you.

  16. I am participant of normal, Presidential election held last eve. I have supported these various organizations, who are not doing much to.get cannabis legalized in TO. No correspondence since 2015. Come on people mass and Maine just approved it. This legislature hearing is garbage. I feel I be better off moving out of RI.

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