PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Two Rhode Island lawmakers are introducing bills that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana.
State Rep. Edith Ajello (uh-JELL'-oh) introduced the legislation Tuesday, and state Sen. Donna Nesselbush is expected to propose a companion bill Wednesday. The Coalition for Marijuana Regulation has scheduled a Wednesday news conference.
Ajello has said the regulated sale of marijuana would eliminate the black market and raise an estimated $10 million in revenue. She says legalization would also save $20 million annually by stopping the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of people for marijuana offenses.
Opponents of legalizing marijuana say it would send children the wrong message, create public health problems and increase the number of people driving while high.
Rhode Island has already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in a new law that takes effect April 1.