As Massachusetts residents prepare to vote on recreational marijuana legalization, the governor of neighboring Rhode Island is considering the next move for her state’s pot policy, which already allows medical marijuana.
If Massachusetts voters support Question 4, the legalization ballot measure, then Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s administration will have to look at the issue “harder and faster,” she said in an Oct. 29, 2016, article in the Providence Journal.
“We’re looking at it,” Raimondo said. “But I do think we have to get it right because we’re not just talking about rolling a joint… If that was what this was all about, I think that would be pretty easy: Legalize.”
So, Raimondo said, her administration is taking intermediate steps that can prepare Rhode Island for legalization.
“We’re saying, let’s shore up the regulatory framework for the medical piece, mostly because…that system was inconsistent, but also because we’re, you know, positioning ourselves one step closer to being ready if we ever did go to legalization,” she said.
At the same time, the governor said she is less certain about legalization.
“The more I think about it and research it, talk about it with people in Colorado, if anything the more hesitant I become,” Raimondo said. “You talk to teachers in Colorado, kids are coming to school high. Emergency rooms are filled with younger people who are high. Nurses don’t like it. Teachers don’t like it.”