Marijuana Policy Project: Regulated Adult Marijuana Sales Expected to Begin in Massachusetts on Tuesday; Advocates Hopeful It Will Inspire Similar Policy Reforms in Rhode Island
* Statements below from the Marijuana Policy Project, a member of the Regulate Rhode Island coalition *
Legal adult marijuana sales will begin in Massachusetts Tuesday, with retailers in Northampton and Leicester reportedly set to be the first to open. The state is the seventh in the nation to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults.
Marijuana policy reform advocates say they are hopeful it will set an example for Rhode Island and other New England states, where lawmakers are expected to consider similar legislation next year.
“New England’s first regulated marijuana market for adults is now up and running in Massachusetts,” said Matthew Schweich, deputy director for the Marijuana Policy Project, a member of the Regulate Rhode Island coalition. “It’s only a matter of time before more states in the region follow its lead. Rhode Islanders are ready to move forward with a similar system, and it’s time for Rhode Island's legislative leaders to allow a vote on the issue. If lawmakers continue to delay, the state will essentially forfeit significant economic opportunities to neighboring states like Massachusetts, including substantial tax revenue and good jobs."
An October poll commissioned by WPRI and Roger Williams Law School found likely Rhode Island voters in support of marijuana legalization by a 19-point margin, with 56 percent of respondents in favor and only 37 percent opposed.
In Massachusetts, adults 21 and older with a valid ID will be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana from licensed marijuana retail stores, of which no more than five grams can be in concentrate form. It will remain illegal to consume marijuana in public. Marijuana products sold for adult use will be subject to a 6.25 percent state sales tax and a 10.75 percent state excise tax, and municipal officials have the option of levying additional local taxes of up to 3 percent. A study released in June by the state Department of Public Health estimated adult marijuana sales would generate more than $200 million for the state and up to $3 million for local governments in the first two years alone.
“Marijuana prohibition is officially coming to an end in the Bay State, and it will not be missed,” said Schweich, who oversaw the successful Question 4 campaign in 2016. “Voters in Massachusetts wanted a more sensible policy, new tax revenue, and safer communities, and that is what they are going to get.
“Finally, adults will be able to purchase marijuana safely and legally in regulated, taxpaying businesses instead of resorting to the underground market,” Schweich said. “Adults will simply stop at a licensed store, show their ID, pay, and be on their way. It won’t be long before the novelty wears off and it feels just like buying alcohol from a liquor store.”
Marijuana possession has been legal for adults 21 and older in Massachusetts since Question 4 took effect on December 15, 2016. The initiative was approved by 53.7 percent of voters on November 8, 2016, and legislation to implement the initiative was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker on July 28, 2017.
Voters in nine states, including Massachusetts, have enacted laws to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adult use, and similar legislation was approved by lawmakers in the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands and signed into law in September. Lawmakers in Vermont and voters in D.C. have adopted laws making marijuana possession and cultivation legal for adults, but not regulating commercial production or sales.
Legal adult marijuana sales began in Colorado in January 2014; Washington in July 2014; Oregon in October 2015; Alaska in October 2016; Nevada in July 2017; and California in January 2018. In Maine, they are expected to begin in fall 2019. In Michigan, where the law was just adopted during the midterm election earlier this month, adult sales are expected to begin in 2020.
The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. It has been a leading advocate for federal marijuana policy reform since its founding in 1995, and it has played a leading role in most major state-level reforms that have occurred over the past two decades. For more information, visit https://www.MPP.org.
In December of 2017, a big blown was dealt to rock fans everywhere with the passing of Smithereens founder and lead singer Pat DiNizio. While Smithereens fans were, and are, deeply saddened by Pat's passing they also overwhelmingly wanted the band to continue. Fast-forward to today, with the remaining original members of The Smithereens: Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros currently out on tour with singer-songwriter Marshall Crenshaw, who is sitting in as the band’s guest vocalist.
I caught up with the singer prior to the band's stop in Rhode Island
Tony Jones: What can folks who attend the upcoming gig expect, as far as material, is it strictly Smithereens tunes?
Marshall Crenshaw: Yes, Smithereens Only. I do my stuff at my shows; this is their show. It’s fun for me to play in their band..
Tony Jones: Your association with The Smithereens goes way back, tell us about that?
Marshall Crenshaw: I have known the guys since forever, played a little bit on their first album. At Pat’s memorial back in January it felt like a giant family-reunion. I sat in with the band for 3 songs that night; a little while after that they reached out to me about doing what we’re doing now.
Tony Jones: Are there any plans for you to record new music with The Smithereens?
Marshall Crenshaw: Not that I know of.
Tony Jones: What keeps bringing you back to touring?
Marshall Crenshaw: Playing music keeps my spirit intact. God knows what I would turn into if I stopped doing it. Maybe I will stop sometime but I’m not there yet.
Tony Jones: How do you prepare for a tour?
Marshall Crenshaw: I don’t always prepare, actually. Sometimes I just show up at the first gig and wing it from there..
Tony Jones: You and I both share a passion for independent radio, is there any chance that The Bottomless Pit will someday return to the airwaves?
Marshall Crenshaw: Ah, thanks for asking. The show went on hiatus in January so I could focus on a film production that I decided to attempt. Once I’ve completed that (unless I die trying), I’d like to do the show again, probably will.
Tony Jones: What advice would you give to new and up-and-coming bands and musicians?
Marshall Crenshaw: Be yourself.
The Smithereens tour hits Rhode Island on Saturday, November 17th at The Greenwich Odeum. Tickets are available at: http://www.greenwichodeum.com/
Donations to the Pat DiNizio Scholarship fund can made online at: http://www.countbasietheatre.org/commemorative-giving/ (Select “Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship” in the drop-down menu)
Money is the root all of evil. That Statement is never truer than in RI Politics. You can call corporate donations “Pay to Play” or “Corporate Influence” or “Favor for a Favor” or any other term. But let’s call it what it is: Bribery. Pure and simple Bribery!
I am not talking about the $20, $50 or $100 donation you might make to you son’s former soccer coach running for town council. You don’t raise $1 Million to 7 Million dollars from $20 donations. $50 doesn’t buy the constant TV ads. What gets you the big money is the Pac contributions, the people who work for them, and the corporate lobbyists who write the laws our reps vote on. And those people want value in exchange for the big money they contribute, and if you believe otherwise then I have a really good video game company run by a former MLB pitcher to sell you.
And what does that money buy? It buys TV ads that call a sitting US Senator a “dufus”, or ads that list statistics of more than dubious nature (how can we be 12th in college preparedness and only in the low 20’s in math proficiency?), or perhaps the one that claims that his opponents’ donations are from organizations less holy that the PAC money he takes.
Because it really doesn’t matter if you take your money from Big Pharma, or the NRA, Wall Street, Insurance companies or if it is from the Teacher’s, the Firefighter’s, Construction Trade Unions, Environmental or affordable housing construction. They all donate in the hopes of getting a candidate who will give them something in return. Or the big individual contributors who plan on getting state jobs from the candidate elected. A bribe is a bribe and these are all definitions of bribes.
My friend Bob Healey ran for office for years not taking these bribes. The media often treated him as a joke. He certainly could have raised big money in the last cycle, where Bob Healey received 21% of the vote spending $35 to get it. If he ran this year I think he could have either won or have been very, very close. Bob was proving a point that people would vote for you without saturated TV airways, hundreds of mailings, and dozens of phone calls at all hours, that you can keep your dignity just run on the issues and still run for office. A lesson that is regretfully is still lost on most candidates today.
But what is worse the media that uses money raised as a yardstick for candidate’s viability. The prevalent view that unless you raise big money, unless you are bribed, that you should not run, and cannot win. And it is the media that dismisses a candidate that doesn’t raise the big money. On Lively Experiment last Friday it was suggested that the lack of money should keep people out of debates because it might take votes from the highly bribed candidates. Are our elections to be wholly bought and paid for? I find this despicable. Is it any wonder that we have such poorly functioning government? Is the media saying that someone cannot be an acceptable candidate because he didn’t take enough BRIBES?
Well Bob Healey didn’t think so. I had breakfast with him a couple weeks after the last election, I was amazed he did so well on $35 and I told him that if he ran again I would run for LT Governor. Sadly Bob passed away 3 Months later. I felt honor bound to run anyway.
Will I win? I don’t know. Put me in the debates and I might. But I won’t be taking any Bribes. Excuse me, big corporate donations. Like there is a difference.
2018 Moderate Party of Rhode Island Candidate for Lieutenant Governor
Providence, RI: WaterFire Providence announces the details for a full lighting on Saturday, August 25th, 2018. The full lighting is sponsored by our season sponsor The Providence Tourism Council. Sunset is at 7:31 pm. The fires will be lit shortly thereafter and burn until midnight. Wind down your summer with WaterFire Providence!
WaterFire Providence has benefited from the support of the Providence Tourism Council for many years and is pleased to have their support again in 2018 as a lead fire sponsor. "The Providence Tourism Council is excited to partner with WaterFire and welcoming visitors to the City of Providence to enjoy the enchanting sites and sounds of this unique art installation of WaterFire on August 25. As an organization, we strive to increase the engagement of visitors through the development of events and programs like WaterFire that transform our rivers and energize the core of our city," says Alexis M. Gorriaran, PTC Board of Directors Chair.
A boat naming dedication for our Access Program boat will take place prior to the lighting ceremony at the guest boat dock adjacent to Memorial Park and the College Street Bridge at 6:30 pm. The public is invited to celebrate with us as we toast to the new boat and reveal its dedication. Access Boat donor Mark Scott and representatives from Bryant University, its Graduate, & Physician Assistant Programs will be lighting the wall and the Access Boat will officially receive its name Sandra Jane.
The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza, in partnership with Bryce Studio, is happening again on Washington Street from 6:00 - 11:00 p.m. This outdoor artisan fair will showcase some of the great artwork created in Rhode Island in mediums such as glass, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more. The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza will offer visitors the opportunity to purchase artwork by Rhode Island-based artists.
Live Music returns to WaterFire at the Steeple Street Unplugged Stage, Bernard John will be performing a mix of folk and rock in two sets on Steeple Street between 8:30 and 10:30 pm The Trinity Brewhouse beer tent also returns to Steeple Street for this lighting.
The Starry, Starry Night Installation will shine brightly in Memorial Park. Join thousands of WaterFire visitors in Memorial Park where the public is encouraged to add their own light to the night. For a small donation to WaterFire, you can make a wish upon one of our stars or place your very own message and luminaria candle lantern in the park. The park will be aglow with hanging blue stars and a constellation of twinkling luminaria candle lanterns below.
WaterFire’s favorite characters are back!
WaterFire is an independent, non-profit arts organization whose mission is to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement, and creatively transforming the city by presenting WaterFire for all to enjoy. The powerful work of art is installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence as a moving symbol of Providence’s renaissance.
To learn more about WaterFire Providence or make a donation visit https://waterfire.org or https://www.facebook.com/waterfireprovidence.
A mix of traditional and modern jazz was featured today as George Wein and Christian McBride announced the first round of artists for the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival, which will take place at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino August 3 – 5.
The First Wave of artists for the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival Presented by Natixis Investment Managers are:
Friday, August 3, 2018
@ Fort Adams State Park:
Sangam with Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland
Rudresh Mahanthappa Indo-Pak Coalition
Matthew Shipp Trio
Saturday, August 4, 2018
@ Fort Adams State Park:
Charles Lloyd New Quartet with Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland
Sunday, August 5, 2018
@ Fort Adams State Park:
Artemis featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant, Renee Rosnes, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana, Ingrid Jensen, Noriko Ueda & Allison Miller
Charles Lloyd & Friends featuring Lucinda Williams with Jason Moran, Marvin Sewell, Stuart Mathis, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland
Mary Halvorson's Code Girl
Tickets went on sale today via www.newportjazz.org with additional artist announcements will be out in the coming weeks
RI Free Radio's DJ Psycho Eddie talks with Susan Soares, Press Relations Manager for RI Comic Con, about everything you need to know for RI Comic Con 2017.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and its partners will kick off the Second Annual Rhode Island Quahog Week with a special launch event later this month. Quahog Week, which runs March 20 – 25, highlights the importance of Rhode Island’s wild harvest shellfish to the state’s history, traditions, and economy. As part of the week, participating restaurants and markets will feature quahog-inspired menu items and deals, and Quahog Week partners will hold special events.
WHERE: Save The Bay, 100 Save The Bay Drive, Providence, Rhode Island
WHEN: Monday, March 20, 2017, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
At the launch event, local shellfishermen will compete in a quahog shucking contest and educate guests on their profession. Guests will also enjoy a raw bar and creative preparations of the quahog, courtesy of participating restaurants. A short speaking program is also planned. The event is free, but space is limited. RSVP to Emily Lynch at Emily.email@example.com.
Rhode Island is known for its food and diverse food cultures. The state’s booming local food sector supports more than 60,000 jobs and continues to attract and inspire the imagination of entrepreneurs and innovators. The local fishing industry has been, and continues to be, a vital part of the equation. Last year, more than 100 million pounds of seafood arrived to a local port – with an export value over $1 billion. And more than 28 million quahogs (off-the-boat value of $5.5 million) were harvested from Narragansett Bay and local coastal waters. To support continued industry growth, the State, along with its partners, developed the RI Seafood brand to uniquely identify local seafood in the marketplace and to provide a brand under which local seafood events and activities can take place.
Quahogging has a rich history locally, supporting the livelihoods of hundreds of fishermen year-round as well as serving as a treasured pastime for Rhode Island families. Quahog Week will highlight this history and value through several other planned events, including a special quahog-inspired Eating with the Ecosystem School of Fish Workshop on March 20 and the Official Beer of the Clam event on Saturday, March 25 at the new headquarters of Narragansett Beer in Pawtucket. For more information on planned programming or to sign up as a Quahog Week partner or participating venue, visit www.seafoodri.com.
For more information about Quahog Week and/or a list of participating restaurants and markets, visit www.seafoodri.com or @RISeafoodRocks on Facebook. Join the conversation in social media, using #QuahogWeek.
If you’re a resident of Rhode Island, then the term ‘Rhody Beer’ would certainly remind you of that distinct flavor that a beer made in the Ocean State would always have. There’s a reason why beers crafted in this state are special, not only does Rhode Island have a rich history of crafting the finest beers, it also has around 375 years of history of beer making and delivering something unique to the beer thirsty world. Let us examine some of the favorite beers to have come out of Rhode Island:
5. The Stalk:
Brewed by Proclamation Ale Company, the Stalk is a beer that is a cult favorite in Rhode Island. The beer comes in a cloudy gold color with a touch of sublime haziness on top of an aroma that is well-suited for all type of preferences. The Stalk is primarily a beer having flavors that can be characterized as having a tinge of citrus. Having an alcohol concentration of 8.60% the Stalk is a beer that should always be in your fridge for all type of occasions.
4. Captain’s Daughter:
Currently rated as the best beer of Rhode Island, the Captain’s Daughter is indeed a must try for anyone who’s trying to get a taste of Rhode Island’s finest beer. The essence of this beer comes out of its brewing process as it’s brewed with high-quality pilsner malt and flaked oats. The best part about the Captain’s Daughter is that you always discover something new, whether it’s an improvement in the aroma or the taste.
Galaxy continues the great work Proclamation Ale Company is doing for beer lovers in Rhode Island. Galaxy is brewed in such a way that the maximum flavor and aroma is obtained through the hops, Amarillo and Citra. The best thing about Galaxy is that it almost feels like it is bursting with citrus juices and tropical fruit aroma.
The name of the beer pretty much tells about what it’ll offer, the mosaic is a supreme combination of a wide variety of brewing ingredients which include raw hops, citrusy flavors and stone fruits. The aroma represents the typical taste of beers from Rhode Island. Due to the usage of raw hops the taste of the Mosaic is very much spicy or maybe sour due to the citrus flavors.
1. Narragansett Bock:
A favorite of Rhode Island is the Narragansett Bock, hopped with Northern Brewers and Hallertau hops the Narragansett Bock wouldn’t be consider as a typical Rhody beer but still it gives you something unique. The very taste of the beer gives your taste buds a creamy sensation and an aroma that you’ll remember for quite some time.
Beers out of Rhode Island are widely recognized not just in the U.S but also all over the world.
This is simply one man's opinion, what is YOUR favorite Rhody brew?
Providence, RI - The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announced today the appointment of Mollie Flanagan as its new Individual Artist Program Director. Flanagan, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, will manage the Council's programs and services for individual artists, including grants to individual artists, professional development and community-building activities. Within the State system the position is classified as a Senior Research Technician.
In announcing the appointment, Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, said, "We are delighted to have someone with Mollie's knowledge and experience take charge of our work supporting our state's individual artists." He went on to say, "Mollie is deeply invested in the success of individual artists and the small businesses and organizations they build around them. We believe her knowledge and experience will help our state's artists contribute to the economic and cultural life of our state." Mollie begins her new job on February 5th.
In accepting this position, Flanagan said "I am excited to work directly with Rhode Island artists to help them develop their creative practices, connect with all of Rhode Island’s residents, and to explore and experiment with alternative business models." She went on to say that, "as a lover of art, I am eager to explore the rich and diverse culture of my new home and experience the wide variety of art being made in the state."
And, as a resident of Arizona, Mollie is really looking forward to experiencing seasons for the first time. She asks that you "please be kind if you see her and she is totally captivated by snow falling or leaves changing."
About Mollie Flanagan
Mollie Flanagan recently completed an MFA in Arts Entrepreneurship and Management at Arizona State University with a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. She was the inaugural Tremaine Fellow in Arts Entrepreneurship, for which she conducted research about arts specific business training across the United States. This research included a national inventory of what training is currently being offered and by whom; three resource guides for artists about free training, asset building, and social impact; what training artist service organizations feel is important to artists’ careers and what business skills the artists themselves feel they need to learn in order to further their professional practice; and research on networking as applied to artists and the arts. Her thesis project focused on creating a new method for developing services or programming for arts organizations and artists within a specific community. To do this, she used an entrepreneurial process to develop services and/or resources for performing arts organizations with budgets of under $300,000 in the Phoenix metro area. Using the Lean Launchpad method, she worked directly with representatives of Phoenix area organizations to assess their biggest challenges and needs and create a plan for implementing solutions. This method of developing programming can be translated to any specific community, working towards creating education programs and assistance that is based on what artists and residents need and want.
As a consultant, Mollie has worked with arts organizations on crowdfunding campaigns and online fundraising, marketing plans, social media, community engagement and audience development, small donor fundraising, capital campaigns, and board development. Her focus has been supporting and working with small arts organizations and arts businesses. As an artist, Mollie works as a lighting designer, production manager, and stage manager in the performing arts. Her work includes several years as the lighting designer at the Musical Instrument Museum’s music theater, production manager for a touring contemporary dance company based in San Francisco, and working in various capacities on large site specific theater projects.
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