PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — In another sign of tolerance for America’s most widely used illegal drug, Rhode Island lawmakers are reviewing legislation that would legalize marijuana for anyone over the age of 21.

Lawmakers heard testimony on the bill Wednesday. It would make Rhode Island the first state to legalize pot and impose alcohol-like regulations and taxes on production and sale of the drug.

Rep. Edith Ajello, a Providence Democrat and the bill’s primary sponsor, said legalization would save time and money in the courts, make drug smugglers obsolete and raise new revenue for the state.

Other lawmakers argue the state should instead replace criminal penalties for marijuana possession with a $150 civil fine.

Wednesday’s hearing came a day after officials announced three authorized medical marijuana dispensaries.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. massman says:

    Fidelity won’t be the only one’s relocating to RI. What does it take for the Federal Gov’t to reclassify marijuana? Is it set in stone as a class I substance?

  2. AlvaroRI says:

    If we decriminalize it and not legalize it, It will be a blow to the values of freedom. I agree that its one extra step into the right direction but it causes an odd dialogue between legislators and the citizens. Is marijuana good enough for compassion centers and their wealthy backers to make money off of, but not good enough for the general public to consume? I am not one to enjoy comparisons, but Alcohol has shown to be a more harmful drug than marijuana, but has a more positive and acceptable image. When will common sense prevail?

  3. Smokatrying2openyoureyes says:

    I have to say that I completely agree with AlvaroRI ‘s caparison to marijuana and alcohol. As for the wealthy people making money that is the way our government works these days because as a people as a whole we let them get to powerful. I find it kind of funny because when our founding fathers were putting the constitution together both Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson stressed that the only way our goverment would work for the people is if the revolted and have a revolution every 75 years because otherwise unchecked it would grow to powerful and sadly it looks like they were right

  4. Smokatrying2openyoureyes says:

    I also just wanted to add one more thing about the constitution our founding fathers didn’t listen to Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson Because there belief was that people would be smarter today and added that within 200 years we as a people would be strong enough to govern ourselves and so the plan was that at our 200 year mark our countries leaders were suppose to give the power back to the people and we were to be governed by populous vote but of course it came and went without mention and anyways you think the rich dirty business people who run this country were about to just give away all there power, We as a whole have to do this for ourselves and now that we have seen that a revolution can happen peacefully like in Egypt maybe its about time to do something because thing are not the way they should be and we deserve true freedom

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