The Business Case for Legalizing Weed in Rhode Island

I’m excited that Rhode Island, my recently adopted home state, might become the first on the East Coast to legalize a commercial marijuana market. And not just for the obvious reasons, such as changing a war on drugs that disproportionately targets people of color or the option of purchasing and smoking marijuana without fear of jail time.

The state already has legal medical marijuana dispensaries and the possession of small amounts of marijuana is decriminalized. Proposed legislation in Rhode Island would take the next big steps and legalize and regulate the possession, use, cultivation and sales. And there lies the opportunity: If Rhode Island beats its neighboring states to the punch, this lovely but economically slumped sliver of a state could reap serious economic rewards, lure a stampede of tourists, and transform hip but vacancy-plagued downtown Providence into a major marijuana retail center.

Just look what it did...

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