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Rhode Island Legislators Push for Recreational Marijuana Vote This Spring

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island state legislators hoping to legalize recreational marijuana say they have enough support to pass a bill if it comes to a vote this spring in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

Rep. Scott Slater, a Providence Democrat and legalization proponent, said taking action this year would allow Rhode Island to have regulations and a new source of tax revenue in place before retail marijuana stores open over the border in Massachusetts. He said Rhode Island has already strengthened the way it regulates and taxes medical marijuana plants, so “flipping the switch” to allow recreational use wouldn’t be hard.

“We’ll definitely be able to beat Massachusetts to the punch,” Slater said. “They seem to keep delaying it.”

Voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada last year approved recreational use of marijuana, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. But Massachusetts lawmakers have delayed the opening of marijuana shops until mid-2018 at the soonest. [Read more at CBS Boston]

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