Did you know that legislators are set to commence a fact-finding commission on decriminalizing marijuana in RI? That's right. Established last July in the waning days of the regular legislative session, the commission, led by Hot Club and Trinity Brewhouse owner Cranston Senator Josh Miller, (More...)
will be looking into how much revenue the state could potentially reap from legalizing hemp, and what might be the consequences of doing so. This follows closely on the heels of the state's new medical marijuana dispensary legislation.
What's going on here? Aside from a sizeable social attitude shift on viewing marijuana as soft drug not worse than alcohol, there is a widespread perception today that the decades long war on drugs has been a near total failure. Shifts in public attitude - now inclined to view marijuana with growing tolerance and the war on drugs as making things worse rather than better - have aligned with a desperate need to find new sources of government revenue. Together, they make for a strong case for decriminalizing marijuana so it can be controlled and taxed.
California is already going down this road, looking at billions in potential new revenue. And the Obama Administration, while still pushing the war on drugs, is more inclined to listen to the states on this matter than storm troop it's way into their affairs. Plus, the Feds could use the money too.
Do you think we will someday see marijuana sold legally under state control and taxed accordingly? And would that be a good development or a bad social experiment for America?