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Study Commission on Marijuana Legalization to Hold Meeting at State House

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

 

Study Commissions begins hearings

The study commission on Marijuana legalization will meet on Wednesday to elect co-chairs for the commission and talk about the purpose of the commission.

The meeting will take place at 3:30 p.m. in room 101 of the State House.

“The potential effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island would have drastic impacts to the fabric of our state and this commission is necessary to determine if those effects would come with positive or negative outcomes. There is too much at stake from both a financial and a public health standpoint to rush into legalization because Massachusetts has elected to do so. This commission will take a thoughtful and data-driven approach to determine if legalizing marijuana is the right move for Rhode Island,” said Representative Dennis Canario.

The Commission

The purpose of the commission is to conduct a comprehensive review and make recommendations regarding marijuana and the effects of its use on the residents of Colorado and Washington, and to study the fiscal impact to those states; and the potential impact on Rhode Island of legalized recreational marijuana.

“Based on my experience as a retired State Police lieutenant and a mom of four children, I understand that legalization of marijuana for recreational use could have serious public safety, public health and societal ramifications. It is imperative that we thoughtfully consider the unintended consequences and take notice from lessons learned in Colorado and Washington. We should take full advantage of other states’ experiences and learn about whether we should follow in their footsteps or perhaps take a different approach to avoid any problems they may have encountered,” said Senator Cynthia Coyne.

The commission will consist of the following members:

·         Representative Canario

·         Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence)

·         Rep. Antonio Giarrusso (R-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich)

·         Senator Coyne

·         Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence)

·         Sen. Nicholas D. Kettle (R-Dist. 21, Coventry, Foster, Scituate, West Greenwich)

·         Smart Approaches to Marijuana: Nancy DeNuccio, Narragansett

·         President of Substance Use Mental Health Council of RI:  Susan Storti, PhD

·         Proponent for legalization: Michael Beauregard, president of Young Democrats of Rhode Island

·         Executive Director of RI Medical Society or designee: Steve DeToy, director of government and public affairs, designee

·         Local chamber of commerce: Laurie White, president of Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce

·         Director of Department of Health or designee: Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott

·         President of RI Police Chiefs Association or designee: Dean Hoxsie, president

·         Attorney General or designee: Peter Kilmartin

·         Medical marijuana patient: Julie Lancia, North Providence

·         Educator: Carol Formica, Middletown Substance Abuse Coalition

·         Mental Health Professional: Mike Cerullo, Exeter

·         Criminal defense attorney: John MacDonald, Providence

·         President of AFL-CIO or designee: Tim Melia, president of Local 328 United Food & Commercial Workers, designee

 

Related Slideshow: Marijuana Use in the New England States

According to data collected by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, New Englanders are among the nation's top marijuana users in the country.  See how the indivdual states compare in the slides below:

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6. Maine

Percent of respondents who used marijuana in the past year: 12.45%

National Rank: 13th most

Possession Laws: Decriminalized (2.5 ounces or less)

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5. Connecticut

Percent of respondents who used marijuana in the past year: 12.50%

National Rank: 12th most

Possession Laws: Decriminalized (less than 0.5 ounce)

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4. Massachusetts

Percent of respondents who used marijuana in the past year: 14.19%

National Rank: 5th most

Possession Laws: Decriminalized (1.0 ounce or less)

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3. New Hampshire

Percent of respondents who used marijuana in the past year: 14.60%

National Rank: 4th most

Possession Laws: Medical Use Only

Prev Next

2. Rhode Island

Percent of respondents who used marijuana in the past year: 14.85%

National Rank: 3rd most

Possession Laws: Decriminalized (1.0 ounce or less)

Prev Next

1. Vermont

Percent of respondents who used marijuana in the past year: 14.90%

National Rank: 2nd most

Possession Laws: Decriminalized (1.0 ounce or less)

 
 

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