There are many issues being debated in Rhode Island, but there is one thing they all agree on: the state will probably end up legalizing cannabis. However, there is not a definite date on which it will be legalized. Earlier in February, State Sen. Josh Miller introduced a measure that would stop prohibition and set up a regulated and taxed the marijuana industry. Among the 15 co-sponsors working with him are extremely renowned people such as Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio and Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael McCaffrey.

As for the House of Representatives, Rep. Scott Slater is likely going to introduce a co-legislation this week with a large amount of co-sponsors, including Republican Minority Leader Brian Newberry. Although House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has not yet spoken about bringing the issue to a vote, he seems to be becoming more and more accepting of the idea that Rhode Island could legalize marijuana, especially if the connected Massachusetts passes a legalization measure that is expected to show up on the ballot in November.

“If it doesn’t come to vote this year, we’ll see what happens on the ballot in Massachusetts, and we could be pretty nimble thereafter,” Mattiello stated to Rhode Island Public Radio. “If we don’t pass it this year, and Massachusetts does, legislatively if we chose to we still have the option of dealing with it early in the next legislative session.”

However, there are legalization advocates such as Jared Moffat who think that it would be a mistake to miss its chance to be the first New England state to legalize cannabis.

“Waiting for Massachusetts to move first would be a mistake because we would miss our opportunity to get a head start advantage,” Moffat said in an interview. “Instead of scrambling to put something together in Massachusetts, why not use the several remaining months in the current legislative session to have a thoughtful discussion and pass the bill this year?”

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