State officials from Colorado are in Rhode Island Tuesday, to discuss how that state has handled the legalization of recreational marijuana. The issue is heating up across New England. Rhode Island lawmakers are considering legislation currently making its way through the General Assembly.
Several New England states, including Rhode Island’s neighbor to the north, Massachusetts, are looking into the viability of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
In 2012, voters in Colorado chose to legalize recreational cannabis. Since then, the state has generated millions in tax revenue.
Advocates say the first states in New England to regulate marijuana like alcohol will see a similar economic windfall. Opponents say legalizing marijuana would have detrimental public health effects, chiefly, providing young people with easier access to the drug.
Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo has said she’d be open to a statewide vote on the issue. Additionally, the House Finance Committee will consider a proposed tax on medical marijuana.