House panel hears bill to legalize marijuana - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

House panel hears bill to legalize marijuana

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By The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ A House panel is considering several marijuana bills, including one to legalize the drug and regulate and tax it like alcohol. The Judiciary Committee was hearing testimony Wednesday evening.

Rep. Edith Ajello's bill would allow people 21 and older to have up to one ounce of marijuana and grow limited amounts of the plant. It would set up a system to regulate licensed marijuana retailers and cultivation facilities and subject the drug to wholesale and retail taxes.

Ajello says she wants to bring marijuana "out of the back alleys'' and allow residents to buy it safely.

Opponents said legalization would send the wrong message to youth. Several law enforcement officials said the medical marijuana program has led to home invasions targeting growers and that the problem could worsen with legalization.

(C) The Associated Press

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