May 17, 2022

Possible Legalization of Cannabis in Rhode Island in 2022.

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By: Kimberly Calderon 

As of March 2nd, 2022, 18 states in the United States have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for those who are 21 and older. Rhode Island is not part of the 18 states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but they might become one in the near future because of a new cannabis legalization bill that was introduced in the Rhode Island House and Senate on the 1st of March, 2022. 

Medical marijuana has been legal in Rhode Island since 2006, recreational use has not had the same luck, but this could change soon with the bill proposed by Governor Gina Raimondo. Raimondo’s bill would allow for “the legalization of possession and purchase of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over, with up to five ounces permitted to be possessed within the home.”(Mikayla Chadwick 2021). The current laws for marijuana possession state that “People in possession of less than 1 ounce are subject to a $150 fine, with no possibility of incarceration or a criminal record. If you are given three citations within 18 months, you may be charged with a misdemeanor.” (Mikayla Chadwick 2021). The new bill would allow for the growth of cannabis retail stores in Rhode Island for both Medical and recreational marijuana, expanding the community outreach. 

Despite the fact that the bill is still in its first stages of moving forward for approval, it still provides the residents of Rhode Island some hope for the legalization of recreational marijuana which would save some of the locals from fines and misdemeanors. Governor Raimondo’s bill can also be what pushes New Hampshire to consider the legalization of recreational marijuana as it would be the last New England State left opposing its legalization. This will present the opportunity for the legalization of recreational marijuana to keep expanding state-to-state to continue moving further West to allow citizens to purchase and participate in the use of recreational marijuana without absurd consequences. 

Work Cited (for articles used): 

Chadwick, Mikayla. “Is Weed Legal in Rhode Island?: Cannabis Legalization.” The Green Fund, 27 Nov. 2021, https://thegreenfund.com/is-weed-legal-in-rhode-island.

Mooney, Tom. “When Will Marijuana Be Legal in Rhode Island? Here’s Why the Answer Might Be 2022.” The Providence Journal, The Providence Journal, 2 Mar. 2022, https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/local/2022/03/01/ri-marijuana-legalization-recreational-cannabis-sales-legalized-new-laws/9329678002/. 

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