Both chambers of the Rhode Island legislature voted today to legalize and regulate the adult use cannabis market.
“By passing this legislation, Rhode Island’s lawmakers have acted in a manner that reflects the will of their constituents and replaces the failed policy of cannabis criminalization with one of legalization and regulation,” said NORML’s Executive Director Erik Altieri, “With this vote, Rhode Island becomes the latest, but not the last, state to add yet another nail to prohibition’s coffin. We urge the governor to quickly sign this measure into law and usher in cannabis freedom to the residents of the Ocean State.”
If signed into law, the “Rhode Island Cannabis Act,” would allow adult Rhode Islanders age 21 and up to possess, home-cultivate, and purchase limited amounts of cannabis. It also facilitates the automatic review and expungement of past criminal records. The Act also includes provisions for re-investing tax revenue from cannabis sales into those communities that were previously most harmed by prohibition, as well as programs to aid social equity applicants seeking to enter the market.
“Ending the prohibition of cannabis is about more than tax revenue. The human consequences of cannabis prohibition have lasting ramifications. This long awaited legislation will work to rectify past wrongs while also moving Rhode Island forward toward a brighter future.,” said Jax James, NORML’s State Policy Manager.
Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee has indicated his support for the measure and he is expected to put his signature on the Rhode Island Cannabis Act when it reaches his desk.