New Proposal For Ending MJ Prohibition — ‘Incremental Legalization’
Senator Joshua Miller, Representative Scott Slater, and Regulate Rhode Island have announced a proposal to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana starting on July 1, 2018 (the date recreational pot shops are slated to open in Massachusetts) while establishing an advisory board to provide recommendations to the General Assembly on regulating sales and cultivation. Regulate RI director Jared Moffat issued this statement:
Our allies in the Legislature are announcing a new proposal that we call “incremental legalization.” Specifically, the compromise legislation would:
• Legalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for adults 21 and older on July 1, 2018, when marijuana retail stores are scheduled to open in Massachusetts; and
• Establish a six-person advisory board comprised of two state officials selected by the governor, two state senators, and two state representatives to study outcomes of legalization in other states and issue a report by January 1, 2018, with recommendations for the General Assembly on how to establish a system for taxing and regulating marijuana in Rhode Island.
Senator Miller spoke with the Providence Journal about the compromise.
“Our proposal balances the will of the majority of voters who want marijuana to be legal for adults while respecting colleagues who want to slow things down and get the regulations right,” Miller said.
Moffat adds “Although we are disappointed the General Assembly has refused to vote on a stronger legalization bill, there is still hope that we might see meaningful progress this year!”