Rhode Island legal pot proponents kick off fight

A marijuana joint is rolled Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in San Francisco. Prop 64 legalizing marijuana for recreational use passed in California. The number of Americans living in states with recreational marijuana more than tripled after at least three states voted to fully legalize the drug. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
 (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts is causing some Rhode Island lawmakers to say it’s time to catch up to their neighbor.

Rhode Island’s legal pot proponents on Wednesday plan to officially kick off their fight to pass state legislation this year.

The same Democratic lawmakers who sponsored pot legalization bills in previous legislative sessions, Providence Rep. Scott Slater and Cranston Sen. Josh Miller, plan to reintroduce the bills. The state’s legalization debate increased last year but lawmakers have never voted on the legislation.

Proponents cite polls showing support for legalization and what will soon be the ease of buying the drug in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts voters approved a November ballot initiative to legalize pot for adults but a new law delays the opening of retail marijuana stores until mid-2018.



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