Senate Judiciary hears bill on recreational marijuana

R.I. rec marijuana advances to floor votes. (FILE)

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE)- Two weeks after Senator Joshua Miller introduced a bill that would legalize, regulate, and tax the use of recreational cannabis throughout Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Cannabis Act went in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee for a hearing.

During the meeting, business owners, citizens, and community leaders weighed in on the act. While most supported the legalization of recreational Marijuana, the bill’s main critique was its equity moving forward.

“Currently, there is no process in which the state would automatically expunge those who have been convicted of marijuana.” said BLM RI PAC Executive Director Harrison Tuttle. “If we want to be able to, as a state, really come to grips with the people who have been affected by it the most, that starts with people having their records expunged before anybody makes a dollar off marijuana.”

Joshua Miller told ABC6 News that the first 12 of 24 licenses facilitated will go to equitable or co-op organizations.

Miller explained, “Prohibition inordinately impacted certain communities and certain people. Therefor, there needs to be a recognition of that, and going forward, you need to first support those communities and people damaged by prohibition.”

Harrison Tuttle concluded, “It’s crucially important that this element is included because if not, we’re just passing legislation without being able to help the people who need it the most and who have been impacted by it the most.”

The bill provides a process for those looking to have their records expunged, but does not do it automatically.

The link to the full bill can be found here.

Categories: News, Politics, Regional News, Rhode Island