Legislators in the state of Rhode Island want recreational marijuana to be legal before neighboring Massachusetts opens up their retail cannabis dispensaries, according to the Associated Press.
With a "scaled-back" approach to the matter, legalization advocates believe the initiative could gain traction. With the new proposal, the possession of cannabis by adults would become legal. Retail marijuana sales would not yet be legal, however it would solve any issues related to spill-over from Massachusetts dispensaries.
It's only a one hour drive from Providence, RI to Boston, MA, making it an easy trip for students and residents looking to score some legal weed in Massachusetts' dispensaries. It's a smart call for lawmakers to act swiftly regarding recreational legalization given the enforcement hurdles the state of Rhode Island could face.
Democratic Senator Josh Miller of Rhode Island's 28th District as well as Democratic Representative Scott Slater are both in support of the "compromise". Unfortunately, this "incremental legalization" measure is facing push-back from a handful of state legislators.
The fact of the matter is that one Massachusetts retail marijuana dispensaries open in early 2018, product will inevitably end up across the border in Rhode Island. We saw the same trend happen when Colorado marijuana began popping up in checkpoints in New Mexico back in 2015.
For readers in Rhode Island, be sure to contact your local representative to show your support for the legalization of adult possession of marijuana.