RI House speaker: While legalizing recreational marijuana is inevitable, ‘we need to make sure we do this right’

Community Focus

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Will Rhode Island legalize recreational marijuana before the year’s end?

R.I. House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi told 12 News Now at 4 anchor Kim Kalunian that while he’s unsure exactly when it will be legalized, it is inevitable.

Watch the full interview in the video above.

“I think it’ll be soon, but I’m not in any hurry to legalize recreational marijuana for the sake of legalizing it,” he said, adding that he doesn’t feel pressured by how fast other states are moving.

“It doesn’t matter to me if we are the last state in the Union to legalize it or we never legalize it,” he said. “I need to make sure we do this right for the taxpayers of Rhode Island and for the medical and business communities.”

The R.I. Senate approved legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana last month. Shekarchi said the House “simply ran out of time” to fully vet the proposal before the session’s end.

If the House can reach a consensus with the Senate and Gov. Dan McKee over the summer on how recreational marijuana will be regulated in Rhode Island, Shekarchi said it’s possible the bill will be considered during a special fall session.

If lawmakers decide to hold a fall session, Shekarchi said it will be held as early as late-September. If a fall session isn’t scheduled, the earliest the legislation will be brought up again is when lawmakers reconvene in January.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Providence

PINPOINT WEATHER // Quick Links:

Dan Yorke State of Mind

DYSOM 7/30/2021: Thomas McCarthy

More Dan Yorke State of Mind

Don't Miss

LIVE CAMS on WPRI.com

More Live Cams
Viewer Pa on WPRI.com

Community Events & Happenings

More Community