Some of Rhode Island’s top lawmakers support the idea of studying how legalization has affected other states before legalizing in their own. Three letters were sent to the House Judiciary Committee last week regarding concerns about legalization. They want the state to approve a study commission before they’ll support it.
Supporters of legalization say the study commission would only delaying the inevitable, according to WPRI 12 News. If a study commission is created, it would include 15 members. They would have until March 2018 to report their findings to the Rhode Island General Assembly.
Jared Moffat of Regulate RI said, “The public is behind it. Massachusetts is moving forward. We don’t think a study commission is necessary because we already have the data.”
By delaying legalization, Rhode Islanders wanting to work in and take part in the industry are likely to move to Massachusetts for those opportunities.
Moffat said, “Legalizing is going to help our economy. It’s going to create jobs and investment to the state.”
Moffat also said, “59-percent of Rhode Island voters want this policy to happen. So, we’re going to continue to make our case and hopefully get it through this year.”
Governor Raimondo’s office said, “The Governor’s primary concerns are safety and proper regulation, and she will give strong consideration to legalization legislation that adequately addresses these concerns, whether a bill reaches her desk this year or in the future.”