Rhode Island could follow Massachusetts on legal pot

Marijuana

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island leaders are looking at following Massachusetts on the path to legalizing recreational marijuana.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said Tuesday she’ll take a more serious look after Massachusetts voters approved a pot legalization ballot measure last week.

The Democrat says it’s not a race to get ahead of the neighboring state. She wants to get the regulations right and remains concerned about safety.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he’s ready to take up legislation next year because marijuana will become readily available to Rhode Islanders traveling across the Massachusetts border, causing concerns without the tax revenues to address them.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio says he’s also preparing to act.

Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Massachusetts on Dec. 15 but retail sales won’t begin until at least 2018.