June 17, 2015

Rhode Islanders Call On Legislators To Pass Bill To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

June 17, 2015
rhode island medical marijuana dispensary

rhode island medical marijuana dispensaryRepresentatives of Regulate Rhode Island will be joined by legislative supporters at a news conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET in front of the Rhode Island State House to call on House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (D-Cranston) and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed (D-Newport) to support the bill to regulate marijuana like alcohol and allow House and Senate members to vote on it before the session ends this month.

Immediately following the news conference, the group will deliver nearly 500 postcards to Speaker Mattiello’s office. Each postcard is signed by one of his constituents and urges the speaker to support the bill.

“We hope the House Speaker and Senate President will agree with the majority of voters that it’s time to start regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol in Rhode Island,” said Regulate Rhode Island Director Jared Moffat. “At the very least, they should allow a vote on the bill before the session ends.”

A record-high 57% of Rhode Island voters support changing state law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, according to a survey conducted in April by Public Policy Polling. Only 35% were opposed. The full results are available at http://bit.ly/1IiFCNt.

S 510/H 5777, the “Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act,” would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow one mature marijuana plant in an enclosed, locked space. It would create a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities and direct the Department of Business Regulation to create rules regulating security, labeling, and health and safety requirements. It would also establish wholesale excise taxes at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store, as well as a special sales tax on retail sales to consumers.

“Regulating and taxing marijuana in Rhode Island would give our state’s economy a much-needed boost,” Moffat said. “It would generate revenue, foster new businesses, and create jobs. S 510/H 5777 should be included as part of the General Assembly’s initiatives to rebuild Rhode Island’s economy.”

“It’s hard to imagine why the legislature would end the session without voting on a widely supported proposal that is intended to bolster the economy and improve public safety.”

WHAT: News conference and delivery of nearly 500 constituent postcards to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello calling on him to support and allow a vote on the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act

WHEN: Wednesday, June 17, 11 a.m. ET

WHERE: News conference in front of the Rhode Island State House, 82 Smith St., Providence; representatives of Regulate Rhode Island will then deliver the postcards to Speaker Mattiello’s office

WHO: Rep. Scott Slater

Sen. Josh Miller

Jared Moffat, director, Regulate Rhode Island

Dr. James Crowley, MD, former president of the Rhode Island Medical Society

Michelle McKenzie, MPH, public health researcher

Rev. Harry Rix, American Baptist minister

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Regulate Rhode Island is a coalition of citizens and organizations committed to ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateRI.com.


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