Petition postcards favoring pot delivered to house speaker

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The activist group Regulate Rhode Island delivered a new appeal for marijuana legalization Wednesday to the office of House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello at the State House.

Regulate Rhode Island collected nearly five hundred postcards signed by people who live in Cranston, Mattiello’s district. They’re calling for Mattiello to allow a vote on the Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act.

Rep. Scott Slater and Sen. Josh Miller have sponsored the related bills, H 5777 and S 0323.

Regulate Rhode Island points to Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, which have each legalized the use of marijuana and started regulating it like alcohol. The group also says opening up the recreational use of marijuana would create jobs in the state.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has said in the past she wants to wait and see how legalization goes elsewhere, but is willing to look at regulations that would reduce potential harm.

Rhode Island is one of 23 states that has approved medicinal marijuana for licensed patients.

Despite the drug remaining illegal for the average citizen, a government study earlier this year said Rhode Island leads the country in marijuana use.