House Committee Hearing On Marijuana Regulation And Taxation

state house The House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act (HB-5274) at 4:30pm, Wednesday, February 27th. Passage of this legislation means Rhode Island would join Colorado and Washington state in legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is moving forward, instructing the state Liquor Control Board to come up with rules for implementing the law. Knowing that federal law conflicts with these plans Inslee has been in touch with the Justice Department. According to The Seattle Times,

Saying “the world is watching,” Gov. Jay Inslee has sent a five-page letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that outlines how Washington’s new legal marijuana system will be tightly controlled to prevent illegal activity such as state-licensed pot from leaking into other states.

The federal government considers all marijuana illegal, despite voter-approved laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize recreational use for adults. And Holder, the nation’s top law officer, has suggested that leakage of Washington weed into other states is one of the Department of Justice’s top concerns, Inslee said after a meeting last month with Holder.

Weed leakage . . . this is what keeps Holder up at night. Take a quick scroll through the roster at Marijuana Majority where people of note have agreed to go on record supporting marijuana reform. It’s not surprising to see the likes of Bill Maher, Seth Rogen, and Jimmy Kimmel; but others in favor include former U.S. Supreme Court Judge John Paul Stevens, conservative columnist George Will, and the Episcopal Church. And here are the kickers for persuading your reactionary old grampa: Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrich, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Sarah Palin.

Hearing 4:30pm, Wednesday, February 27, Rhode Island State House, 82 Smith Street (directions)

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