Since Washington’s prop 502 was approved for the 2012 Nov ballot, other states have started their own legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana (read more about Washington’s prop 502). Now Rhode Island takes it’s first step towards decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana use for adults.
Today the Senate Judiciary Committee is hearing arguments for the legalization of marijuana debate at the Statehouse. The proposed legislation will allow adults over the age of 21 to possess a specified amount of marijuana legally for recreational use. The law will also impose taxes on the production and sale of marijuana making more money for the state.
The legalization is very similar to Washington’s proposition which is up for vote on the 2012 ballot.
Washington’s prop I-502 will allow voters to decide whether marijuana will be completely legal for citizens to use much like alcohol and tobacco is, and 502 is seeing huge support as supporters of the legalization referendum outnumbered opponents 48% to 45%. Petitioners collected over 355,000 signatures to get I-502 on the ballot, and recent polls show a majority of citizens in support of 502.
A similar bill qualified for Colorado’s November ballot taking this first step for the United States a little further. Much like Washington’s 502, the Colorado initiative will allow all citizens over the age of 21 to legally possess limited amounts of marijuana for all purposes. The motions of these bills mark a revolutionary era for pro marijuana supporters sending a message to the federal government about our want for marijuana rights, as supported by a recent Gallup poll which reports over 50% of Americans are for legalization.
Other states like Arizona and Montana are working on their own versions of the legalization pushing for a nationwide decision to take marijuana rights to the next level. Rhode Island is the newest state to begin taking the move to legalize marijuana, however similar proposals were denied last year, but supporters are gaining power and are not going away.
Similar legislation is pending in the House, and new bills in support of legalized marijuana are already in the works.