Rhode Island lobbyists and lawmakers are still mulling over recent discussions about legalizing recreational marijuana just months after voters approved medical marijuana. Lead lobbyist, Jeff Britt has been meeting with Medical Cannabis Colorado discussing concerns and missteps that Colorado took to ensure those missteps don’t occur in Rhode Island.
Medical Cannabis Colorado supports legalization, according to Providence Journal. Lobbyist Britt works with investors and other businesses interested in the marijuana industry. Britt’s experience includes working for a campaign last year. He was salaried as a legislative lobbyist at a cost of $5k per month.
Regarding Medical Cannabis Colorado’s intentions in Rhode Island, Britt said, “Their interest is in legalization in general. The more states that legalize, they see it as a defense against backsliding on a federal level. They’re not a PAC [political action committee] or a political action group, but frankly, they’re acting like one.”
Lobbyists are bringing controversy to Rhode Island. Another lobbyist is being paid by RIMARC a salary of $3,750 monthly.
The opposing side of legalization is also hiring lobbyists to argue their side of arguments. Anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is paying former Senator John Tassoni Jr a salary of $1,750 monthly to lobby for anti-legalization efforts.
Lobbyists help supporters and opposition advocate their intentions and aid in influencing the opinions of decision makers in governments.
Lobbyists are joining forces with dispensaries, legally operating medical marijuana businesses, potential recreational marijuana businesses and those that oppose marijuana in general. The discussions are getting heated – more heated now that some lawmakers are favoring recreational marijuana legalization.