The Rhode Island Senate on Tuesday approved a bill to legalize marijuana. The legislation, which cleared the chamber’s Judiciary Committee last week, passed in a 29-9 vote. Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey (D) and Health & Human Services Chairman Joshua Miller (D) are the lead sponsors of the measure, which they introduced in March, days before Gov. Dan McKee (D) came out with his own legalization proposal. “It is a historic day, as it is the first time a bill to legalize and regulate cannabis has reached the floor of either legislative chamber in Rhode Island,” Miller said before the vote. “It is important that we act expeditiously to enact a regulatory framework,” he added, noting policy changes in surrounding states such as Connecticut, where the state’s governor signed a legalization bill into law earlier on Tuesday. A third Rhode Island legalization measure was also recently filed on the House side by Rep. Scott Slater (D) and several cosponsors. But while the Senate moved forward with the leaders’ bill, House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi (D) recently signaled that legalization wouldn’t be taken up until the summer or fall. Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D) said in a press release on Tuesday that he wants to work with the governor and the House to get the reform done this year.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 06/22/2021 17:47:00