Wondering just how much they’ll cash in if they were to make all sales of marijuana legal and impose a “sin tax” of $35 per ounce, the state of Rhode Island has created a “Special Senate Commission to Study the Prohibition of Marijuana,” says Senator, Joshua Miller, D-Cranston to answer such a question.
Other than researching the economic windfall that legalization will create, the nine-member special commission will also examine, according to Miller, “Whether and to what extent Rhode Island youth have access to marijuana despite current laws prohibiting its use. … Whether adults’ use of marijuana has decreased since marijuana became illegal in Rhode Island in 1918. … Whether the current system of marijuana prohibition has created violence in the state of Rhode Island against users or among those who sell marijuana. … Whether the proceeds from the sales of marijuana are funding organized crime, including drug cartels. … Whether those who sell marijuana on the criminal market may also sell other drugs, thus increasing the chances that youth will use other illegal substances.” The panel has until Jan. 31, 2010 to deliver the study.
A year ago, buzzkillin’ Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri vetoed a joint House and Senate call for a study of state-regulated marijuana dispensaries. But, “since this was only a Senate resolution, it does not come to the governor for his approval,” Amy Kempe, Carcieri’s spokesperson points out. Incredibly, nobody has taken advantage of the lucrative opportunity to open the state’s first legal cannabis dispensary since as of late there hasn’t been a single person to formally apply for the license to run any of the three future medical cannabis dispensaries allowed by the “compassion centers” bill.
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