Rhode Island State lawmakers introduce bill to legalize marijuana

By Sean Cahill

scahill@abc6.com

Marijuana could soon be legal here in the Ocean State.

The Rhode Island Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Josh Miller and House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Edith Ajello introduce a new bill Wednesday that would make marijuana legal for adults in Rhode Island.

The measure would allow anyone 21 or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow two plants. It would also establish a system which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

It would enact an excise tax of up to $50 per ounce on the wholesale sale of marijuana flowers applied at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store and add a 10% sales tax at the point of retail sales.

According to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, 53% of Rhode Island voters support changing state law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. Just 41% oppose the legalization.

Colorado and Washington are the only two states to legalize possession of marijuana.

(C) WLNE/TV 2014