A bill introduced in Rhode Island would authorize marijuana to be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol, legalizing the plant, and effectively nullifying the federal prohibition on the same.
Senate Bill 510 (S.510) was introduced on Feb. 26 by State Sens. Josh Miller (D-28), Paul Jabour (D-5), Donna Nesselbush (D-15), Michael McCaffrey (D-29), and Sue Sosnowski (D-37). If this bill is successful, Rhode Island would become the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes through the legislature rather than the popular vote.
S.510 would allow an individual over the age of 21 to possess, use, obtain, purchase and transport up to one ounce of marijuana. In addition, individuals would be allowed to possess up to five grams of hashish, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused solid products, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid products.
Individuals would be able to possess, cultivate, grow, process and transport no more than two marijuana plants under the bill, with one of the plants allowed to be mature and flowering. S.510 states that “marijuana must be cultivated indoors in an enclosed, locked, location” and must “not occur in a location where the marijuana plants are subject to public view, including from another private property, without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids.”
Possession and distribution of marijuana seeds and paraphenalia would also be legalized under S.510. Individuals would be allowed to control “any premises or vehicle where persons who are twenty-one (21) years of age or older possess, process, or store amounts of marijuana and marijuana products” that are made lawful under the bill.
Under S.510, it would still remain a criminal office to smoke marijuana in a public place. Usage of marijuana in ways not specifically outlined in the bill would remain criminalized as well. Prospective distributors must pay up to $5000 in licensure fees in order to become a lawful marijuana retailer in the state. Marijuana retail operations must be enacted 1000 feet away from existing school buildings.
Bills like S.510 are sweeping the nation, and for good reason. Reforms like these can affect federal policy while circumventing the Washington D.C. power structure completely. The best thing about measures such as S.510 is that they are completely lawful and Constitutional, and there is little if anything the feds can do to stop them!
Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. However, nearly two-dozen states have taken steps to put the well-being of their citizens above the so-called federal supremacy by legalizing marijuana to varying degrees anyway.
“The rapidly growing and wildly successful state-level movement to legalize marijuana, either completely, or for medical use, proves that states can successfully effectively reject unconstitutional federal acts. The feds can claim the authority to prohibit pot all they want, but it clearly has done nothing to deter states from moving forward with plans to allow it, pushed by the will of the people,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said.
The momentum is on our side, but Rhode Island cannot legalize it without your help. This effort needs your support to achieve victory. S.510 is currently in Senate Committee on Judiciary where it will need to successfully pass through before it can receive a full vote in the state senate.
If you live in Rhode Island, support this bill by following all the action steps at THIS LINK.
All Other States, take action to push back against the federal drug war at this link.