September 28, 2017

Rep. Canario at (401) 683-4926 or Sen. Coyne at (401) 245-4005

 

PRESS RELEASE

Study commission on marijuana legalization appoints members

 

STATE HOUSE – The 19-member special legislative commission to study the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island has appointed its members in anticipation of its first meeting in October.

Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) and Sen. Cynthia A Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) sponsored the legislation (2017-H 5551Aaa / 2017-S 277A) that created the commission.

“The potential effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island would have drastic impacts to the fabric of our state and this commission is necessary to determine if those effects would come with positive or negative outcomes,” said Representative Canario.  “There is too much at stake from both a financial and a public health standpoint to rush into legalization because Massachusetts has elected to do so.  This commission will take a thoughtful and data-driven approach to determine if legalizing marijuana is the right move for Rhode Island.”

“Based on my experience as a retired State Police lieutenant and a mom of four children, I understand that legalization of marijuana for recreational use could have serious public safety, public health and societal ramifications. It is imperative that we thoughtfully consider the unintended consequences and take notice from lessons learned in Colorado and Washington. We should take full advantage of other states’ experiences and learn about whether we should follow in their footsteps or perhaps take a different approach to avoid any problems they may have encountered,” said Senator Coyne.

The purpose of the commission would be to conduct a comprehensive review and make recommendations regarding marijuana and the effects of its use on the residents of Colorado and Washington to the extent available, and to study the fiscal impact to those states; and thereafter the potential impact on Rhode Island of legalized recreational marijuana.

The commission will consist of the following members:

·         Representative Canario

·         Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence)

·         Rep. Antonio Giarrusso (R-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich)

·         Senator Coyne

·         Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence)

·         Sen. Nicholas D. Kettle (R-Dist. 21, Coventry, Foster, Scituate, West Greenwich)

·         Smart Approaches to Marijuana: Nancy DeNuccio, Narragansett

·         President of Substance Use Mental Health Council of RI:  Susan Storti, PhD

·         Proponent for legalization: Michael Beauregard, president of RI Young Democrats

·         Executive Director of RI Medical Society or designee: Steve DeToy, director of government and public affairs, designee

·         Local chamber of commerce: Laurie White, president of Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce

·         Director of Department of Health or designee: Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott

·         President of RI Police Chiefs Association or designee: Dean Hoxsie, president

·         Attorney General or designee: Peter Kilmartin

·         Medical marijuana patient: Julie Lancia, North Providence

·         Educator: Carol Formica, Middletown Substance Abuse Coalition

·         Mental Health Professional: Mike Cerullo, Exeter

·         Criminal defense attorney: John MacDonald, Providence

·         President of AFL-CIO or designee: Tim Melia, president of Local 328 United Food & Commercial Workers, designee

-30-

For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our website at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.

 

                                                                                                                 

 

Lawyers for the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault don't have much time to respond to a request for her to testify on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley says if they don't respond or agree to testify, the vote to send Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will happen on Monday. Kavanaugh's accuser was originally offered a chance to testify on Monday.        Senator Susan Collins says she is appalled by President Trump's tweet this morning lashing out against the California professor who has made a sexual assault claim against his Supreme Court nominee. The moderate Republican is considered a swing vote that could sway the confirmation battle in either direction. Today, Trump sent out a tweet asking why the assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh is only coming out now.        The hashtag "Why I Didn't Report" is trending on Twitter. People are using it to tell their accounts of being victims of sexual assault. One woman used the "Why I Didn't Report" hashtag to say she was assaulted by a teammate during a combat mission in Afghanistan and was told not to cause problems. Another woman said her mother told her to keep quiet about the assault because if her father found out, he'd kill the boy who assaulted her.        Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Beto O'Rourke have faced off in a fiery debate. O'Rourke is vying for Cruz's seat in the Senate. On immigration, Cruz said O'Rourke is out of step with Texas and said that he seems to be fighting for illegal immigrants. O'Rourke accused Cruz of seeking to deport eleven million people from the country.       Flooding from Hurricane Florence may be sending coal ash into the Cape Fear River. A man-made lake connected to the site of a former coal-fired power plant in North Carolina breached a dam today, sending its water into the river.Coal ash is a byproduct of coal-fired electricity, and it contains particles harmful to human health such as mercury, cadmium and arsenic.        Rapper and songwriter J.Cole is using his platform to raise money for to help Hurricane Florence victims. The Fayetteville, North Carolina native is planning to set up hot food stations, housing options for families and donate food to local shelters. Donations will also be given to other local nonprofits aiding the people of Fayetteville.