Chances are dwindling that a referendum on legalizing marijuana will appear on the November ballot in Rhode Island.
“A referendum on this year’s ballot is unlikely,” House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello told The Providence Journal in an email Monday.
This is a good thing, with apologies to my friend Pat Ford and others who support the legalization of cannibis. One of the pro-legalization arguments is that use of the substance is the same as legal liquor. I might, might, might entertain that argument if it meant that the total number of people who use mood-altering substances did not change. But all indications are that this is not what happens.
Further, legalization hasn’t gone wonderfully in Colorado – far from it. When this discussion comes up at the General Assembly next year, these statistics need to heavily weigh on the ledger against the increased tax revenue often cited by cannibis advocates. Colorado’s experience strikes me as too high a price for Rhode Islanders to pay to legalize marijuana.