RHODE ISLAND: Governor Lincoln Chafee could become the first governor in America to legalize marijuana without putting the decision to the voters.
After attending a meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C., last week, Chafee discussed the possibility of “pot for potholes” – using marijuana sales revenue for infrastructure improvement – by passing a bill approved by state lawmakers.
At least one local expert thinks it’s a dangerous proposition.
“It would be extremely shortsighted and irresponsible to debate legalizing marijuana simply to raise tax revenue,” said Gary Sasse, former director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, a former director of the Rhode Island Department of Administration and the state Department of Revenue, and now director of the Bryant Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.
“Coloradans legalized pot and their governor noted that going out and getting tax revenue is absolutely the wrong reason to even think about legalizing recreational marijuana. He is correct. Marijuana can put young people at risk. Let’s see what happens in Colorado before jumping into the pool.”