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New Rhode Island Committee to Study Marijuana Legalization Options

State Marijuana Law

Rhode Island is forming a committee to conduct a study regarding the effects of marijuana legalization. The House Committee voted to add five more members to the commission. This would bring the panel membership to 22.

The increase in members also brings forth more members that are for legalization, Providence Journal reports. The bill included the titles of the members proposed that were approved by the House Judiciary Committee. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio are charged with appointing the other members of the commission.

The new members will consist of:

  • Local NAACP President
  • Director of Direct Action for Rights and Equality
  • Doctors for Cannabis Regulation representative
  • Criminal defense attorney
  • Rhode Island AFL-CIO President

The bill will be scheduled for a full vote next week by the House floor. Some amendments had to be made regarding the included members before an initial vote took place.

The commission is responsible for reporting its findings to the state’s General Assembly no later than March 2018. The commission’s goal is to provide a recommendation to the state regarding recreational marijuana legalization. Some say that this is just a tactic to delay potential marijuana legalization.

Senator Joshua Miller, a marijuana legalization supporter, has hinted that alternative legislation may be introduced to reach a compromise on legalization.