After last weekends gathering of governors from around the country, the Ocean State’s Governor Lincoln Chafee seems to be “seeing the light” concerning cannabis legalization. Rhode Island has the nation’s highest unemployment rate of 9.1%, and could certainly use the jobs and tax dollars that being the first legal east-coast state could bring.
“Somebody was saying to me about the bad weather we’ve been having back home and all the potholes, we should have the revenue go to infrastructure — pot for potholes. Fix up our roads and bridges and fill our potholes, it’s a bad winter up there,” Chafee told Huffington Post. “We’ll see what comes out of the legislature. We’re just still putting in the medical marijuana component and we’ll certainly see what happening in Colorado.” added Chafee, “The ability to tax and put that revenue to beneficial means, whatever that might be — infrastructure, education — is tempting for governors.”
Representative Edith Ajello has submitted a bill legalizing and regulating cannabis in “Little Rhody” for the fourth time in as many sessions, Chafee’s new-found enlightenment means this time it might stick.
The measure (2014-S 2379, 2014-H 7506) would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to two marijuana plants (only one may be mature) in an enclosed, locked space; establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities; 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 (a special 10-percent sales tax will also be applied at the point of retail sale); and require the Department of Business Regulation to establish rules regulating security, labeling, health and safety requirements.
Contact Governor Chafee Here:
Office of the Governor
82 Smith Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 222-2080