Lawmakers review proposal on marijuana legalization

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The Rhode Island Senate Finance and Judiciary committees have held their first joint hearing on a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana.

The Providence Journal reports lawmakers had several criticisms about the proposal unveiled Tuesday, including that it provides too little money for drug-abuse prevention.

Other lawmakers questioned the cost of new positions for a cannabis regulatory commission and said some proposed penalties were overly excessive.

Gov. Gina Raimondo included potentially legalizing recreational marijuana as part of her budget for the next fiscal year.

Her proposal would ban home growing and bar high-potency products from store shelves.

Recreational marijuana sales could start by next January if approved.

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio says he has significant concerns about the proposal, including workforce issues and its impact on children.

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