Rhode Island legislature kills seven marijuana-related bills in committee


Update 4/18/14: Sorry Rhode Island, no pot legalization – no matter how limited – for you this year. After meeting yesterday, the state House Judiciary Committee decided to table seven marijuana-related bills until next year.
Lawmakers were apparently not swayed by public testimony earlier this week in favor of legislation that would have legalized sales of up to an ounce of cannabis at a time to adults 21 and up as well as the personal cultivation of one plant at a time.

Other bills shot down by the legislature included changes allowing post-traumatic stress disorder to be included on the list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions, increased medical marijuana production at state facilities based on customer demand, increased the amount of herb patients could possess, allowed for home cultivation and dropped decriminalization fines from $150 to $100.
Not all of the tabled bills were a disappointment. One would have set advertising limits preventing dispensaries from advertising at all in print, radio or TV.
All of the laws will be held for study, though we all know that means they won’t be looked at ever again.
Original post, 4/17/14: The Rhode Island state House is considering a bill in committee that would legalize limited amounts of cannabis for adults 21 as well as authorize state-regulated dispensaries to sell ganja to adults. People would also be able to grow cannabis for themselves at home, though cultivation would be limited to one (!?!?) plant.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Edith Ajello, is modeled after Colorado’s recreational cannabis system and is meant to take marijuana from the “back alleys” to legal storefronts. (Editor’s note: does anyone actually ever buy cannabis in a back alley anymore?).
“The current policy isn’t working,” Ajello said last night in committee. “Prohibition isn’t working. This legislation will do something to help with education and treatment, and it will have the bonus of tax income for the state.”
If the bill passes, adults 21 and up would be able to posess up to an ounce at a time. They could also grow a single plant and keep what they harvest from that. We predict that if this passes, you’re going to see some major cannabis trees in Rhode Island. Retail cannabis sales would be taxed at $50 an ounce and charge the state Department of Business Regulation with overseeing the marijuana industry.
Despite its flaws (one single plant, really?) the bill apparently has a good shot of passing. At least, it is if you ask Jared Moffat of Regulate Rhode Island, the group that pushed for the legislation.
More than 200 people signed up to speak at the state House Judiciary Committee last night, most in favor.
Of course, cops have already jumped on the bill and said that the legislature needs to curb the bill without discussion. Cops were also blaming the state’s medical marijuana program for crime and argued that there would be more home break-ins if cannabis cultivation was legalized. Because, you know, it’s easier to illegally burglarize or rob someone of their single plant than to simply grow it yourself.