Rhode Island Legislature Passes Measure Establishing Marijuana Study Commission

A commission designed to study the potential impact of legalizing marijuana in Rhode Island would be established under legislation approved by the state’s full legislature.

Yesterday Rhode Island’s Senate gave approval to House Bill 5551, roughly two weeks after it was approved 67 to 2 in the state’s House of Representatives. The proposal would establish a 19-person commission which purpose is to “conduct a comprehensive review and make recommendations regarding marijuana and the effects of its use on the residents of Colorado and Washington to the extent available, and to study the fiscal impact to those states; and thereafter the potential impact on Rhode Island.”

According to House Bill 5551, the commission “shall report its findings and results to the General Assembly on or before March 1, 2018, and said commission shall expire on July 1, 2018”. The 19-person committee shall consist of;

three (3) of whom shall be members of the Senate, not more than two (2) from the same political party, to be appointed by the President of the Senate; three (3) of whom shall be members of the House of Representatives, not more than two (2) from the same political party, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; one of whom shall be a representative from Smart Approaches to Marijuana or a similar organization, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; one of whom shall be the President of the Substance Use Mental Health Council of RI, or designee; one of whom shall be a member of an organization that s a proponent for the legalization of marijuana, to be appointed by the President of the Senate; one of whom shall be the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Medical Society, or designee; one of whom shall be a member of a local chamber of commerce, to be appointed by the President of the Senate; one of whom shall be the Director of the Department of Health, or designee; one of whom shall be the President of the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association, or designee; one of whom shall be the Attorney General, or designee; one of whom shall represent medical marijuana patients in Rhode Island, to be appointed by the President of the Senate; one of whom shall be an educator in Rhode Island, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; one of whom shall be a mental health professional, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; one of whom shall be a criminal defense attorney, to be jointly appointed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate; and one of whom shall be the President of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, or designee.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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