GOP Residence Leader Calling for Legal Marijuana in Rhode Island

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The Republican leader in Rhode Island’s Residence of Representatives thinks the state must completely legalize marijuana.

But though that news would ordinarily bode nicely for reform efforts in state legislatures, the trouble is that the Democratic speaker is not rather on board — and the Residence is dominantly controlled by Democrats.

In an interview with Rhode Island NPR affiliate WNPN-FM on Nov. 30, 2018, Minority Leader Blake Filippi was asked to weigh in on Massachusetts’ newly implemented adult-use cannabis system and stated straightaway that he believes “it must be legal.” Having said that, anybody caught promoting marijuana to youngsters must be sent to jail, he added.

“It’s really encouraging to see this sort of public and unhesitating assistance for legalizing marijuana from the Residence GOP leader on an concern that practically all Rhode Island progressives are currently behind,” Jared Moffat, Rhode Island political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment. “That sort of bipartisan assistance is what we need to have to get a bill by way of in 2019.”

Filippi also stated in the radio interview that issues with visitors congestion in Massachusetts cities, exactly where only two dispensaries are at present operating, could have been avoided by opening 15 to 20 shops at the identical time, alternatively of the state’s staggered method.

“That would have alleviated a lot of of the issues.”

On the other side of the aisle, the Democratic Residence Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is not prepared to embrace marijuana legalization, but final month he told Providence CBS affiliate WPRI-Television that he would “contemplate all alternatives.

In a later e-mail, he recognized the possible financial advantages of legalization, but stated “it will also raise social charges and public security issues.”

“We will have to figure out what the net effect would be for Rhode Island in light of the legal sales in Massachusetts and other states, and I appear forward to collaborating with my Residence colleagues in the subsequent legislative session and listening to the views of our citizens.”

In the course of a debate in the run-up to the election Nov. six, 2018, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo seemed to echo Mattiello’s issues, saying that she’s “open” to legalization but “cautious” about it. Legal marijuana applications are “hard to regulate so it does not get into the hands of youngsters,” she stated.

For his element, Filippi’s assistance for legalization seems rooted in a libertarian ideology. Later in his radio interview, the lawmaker stressed the significance of championing private liberties and limiting the function of government “in our private lives, in our residences, and in our wallets.”

This report has been republished from Marijuana Moment beneath a content material syndication agreement. Study the original report right here.



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