GOP House Leader Calling for Legal Marijuana in Rhode Island

GOP House Leader Calling for Legal Marijuana at Rhode Island

The Republican leader in Rhode Island’s House of Representatives believes the state should fully legalize marijuana.

But while that information would typically bode well for reform efforts in state legislatures, the issue is that the Democratic speaker isn’t quite on board and the House is dominantly controlled by Democrats.

In an interview with Rhode Island NPR affiliate WNPN-FM on Nov. 30, 2018, Minority Leader Blake Filippi has been asked to weigh in on Massachusetts’ recently implemented adult-use cannabis program and said straightaway he believes “it should be legal. &rdquononetheless, anyone caught selling marijuana to children should be sent 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, told Marijuana Moment. “That kind of bipartisan support is what we will need to get a bill through in 2019.

Filippi also said in the radio interview that problems with traffic congestion in Massachusetts cities, where only two dispensaries are now operating, could have been avoided by opening 15 to 20 stores in precisely the same time, instead of the state’s staggered approach.

“This would have alleviated many of the issues.

On the other side of the aisle, the Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello isn’t ready to adopt marijuana legalization, but last month he told Providence CBS affiliate WPRI-TV he would “consider all options.

In a subsequent email, he recognized the potential economic benefits of legalization, but said “additionally, it will increase social costs and public safety issues.

“We will need to determine what the net impact would be for Rhode Island in light of the authorized sales in Massachusetts and other states, and I look forward to cooperating with my House colleagues at the upcoming legislative session and listening to the views of our citizens.

In a debate in the run-up to the election Nov. 6, 2018, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo seemed to echo Mattiello’s concerns, stating that she’s “open” to legalization but “cautious” about it. Bud programs that are legal are “difficult to control so that it doesn’t get into the hands of children,” she said.

For his part, Filippi’s support for legalization appears rooted in a libertarian ideology. Later in his radio interview, the lawmaker stressed the importance of championing personal liberties and limiting the role of government “in our private lives, in our homes, and in our pockets. ”

This article was republished from Marijuana Moment below a content syndication agreement. Read the first article here.

Released at Wed, 05 Dec 2018 17:00:31 +0000

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