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  • Marijuana prohibition has been a total failure, and it’s time for Rhode Island to move forward with legalization — as Massachusetts and nine other states have done. It makes no sense to continue criminalizing marijuana while our neighbors open stores where it’s sold legally within miles of our border. Lawmakers in the General Assembly have an opportunity to craft a sensible legalization law in partnership with the governor’s office this year. It’s time to act.

  • Tens of thousands of people in Rhode Island have faced the serious consequences of a marijuana arrest. The war on marijuana has had devastating results, and some families and communities — particularly people of color and those in low-income neighborhoods — have felt the effects much more than others. As we move forward with legalization, we need to make sure we don’t leave behind those who have suffered as a result of our misguided policies in the past.

  • Regulating marijuana for adult use protects public health and safety better than prohibition. Prohibition doesn’t stop anyone, including kids, from accessing marijuana. With legalization, though, products can be tested, labeled, and held to safety standards; and purchasers must prove they are 21 or older. Legalization also promotes safer cultivation practices and protections for workers in the industry. Anyone who wants to promote public health and safety should support legalizing and regulating marijuana.

  • Legalizing marijuana is not enough. We must take steps to help those who have suffered as a result of our decades-long war on marijuana. One proposal currently in the General Assembly, H 5795, would establish a program to assist people who have prior marijuana convictions that seek a license to operate a legal marijuana business. This is the right approach to make legal marijuana market accessible to everyone.

  • Lawmakers have kicked the can down the road year after year on addressing our failed policy of marijuana prohibition. In that time, 10 other states have made the smart decision to legalize marijuana for adult use and have been able to cash in. The Rhode Island General Assembly can no longer run from its responsibility to address this important issue. It’s time to enact reform and move our state forward.

  • Our current policy of criminalizing marijuana puts a costly burden on our criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies. Instead of wasting time on marijuana, police should be focused on addressing serious crimes. Regulating marijuana and treating it similarly to other industries is a far more sensible public policy and a more responsible use of public resources.

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