Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo says that the state will look closer at legalizing recreational marijuana now that Massachusetts has done so. The Governor says that proper regulations and safety are her top concerns, and plans to move forward slowly.
When the Rhode Island House returns to session in 2017, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says that he plans to look at moving forward with legislation, according to Turn to 10 News. Rhode Islanders will already be traveling across the state border to purchase recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, so state lawmakers will work quickly toward legalization in Rhode Island.
Raimondo said, “I am very open to it, as I have been, but I’m not really in a rush because I’ve talked to governors of states who’ve already legalized and they say to me, ‘Go slow, governor, especially with the edibles’. As a mom of a soon-to-be teenager, I want to make sure that she and all her friends are going to be safe…In Colorado, young kids are getting their hands on highly potent edibles and they’ve shown up at the ER sick, they’ve shown up at school high, so I’m open to it, but we’ve got to get it right and keep people safe.”
Other state lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, are also on board to move toward legalizing recreational marijuana. Marijuana sales at dispensaries in Massachusetts won’t begin until sometime in 2018, but marijuana use and possession in Massachusetts become legal on December 15, 2016.