Although I’m pretty sure state Democrat Representative Anastasia Williams, of Providence, has introduced this legislation in the past, with the possible legalization of marijuana this year, it’s worth mentioning. As Ian Donnis reports for the Public’s Radio:
A Rhode Island lawmaker believes the state’s laws governing sex work are too punitive and she wants to create a 12-member commission to review possible changes. …
According to a bill introduced by Williams, H5354, “Criminalization of prostitution disproportionately impacts women, transgender individuals and people of color.” Her legislation points to findings showing that decriminalizing prostitution can improve public safety and public health.
If Williams’ envisioned legislative commission moves ahead, it would face a February 2020 deadline for reporting its findings.
As I’ve noted repeatedly, there’s a reason Pottersville — the alternate reality in It’s a Wonderful Life in which the movie’s hero had never been born — combines drugs, gambling, and prostitution. As I’ve also suggested before, it would be one thing to arrive at this state of affairs because our culture and our respect for liberty had become stronger, because then it would have implicit safeguards for individuals and the community as a whole.
As it is, we’re seeing the government move into areas that used to be the province of organized crime, largely for the same reasons: money and power.