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Marijuana legalization push heating up in RI

Marijuana legalization push heating up in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A push to legalize recreational marijuana use in Rhode Island is picking up steam ahead of next year's legislative session.

Advocates say they plan to reintroduce legislation that would legalize small amounts of marijuana and subject it to alcohol-style taxes and regulations. The legislation has been introduced before but has never gotten a vote.

The Washington D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project is supporting the legalization push in Rhode Island and nine other states where it believes pot could be legalized by 2017.

Robert Capecchi, the group's deputy director of state policies, says public opinion is shifting in favor of marijuana legalization.

Rhode Island has already replaced criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana with civil fines.

Colorado and Washington state have taken the next step by legalizing recreational pot use.

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