Director and patient advocate of Regulate Rhode Island say Governor Raimondo’s plan is on the wrong track
PROVIDENCE — Governor Gina Raimondo recently unveiled a proposal to create a “tagging” system to track medical marijuana plants in the state. Patients and caregivers who cultivate medical marijuana for patients will be required to pay $150 or $350 per plant for these tags. Polly Reynolds, a registered medical marijuana patient who cultivates marijuana to ease her muscle spasms and pain caused by multiple sclerosis, issued the following statement:
“Instead of levying hefty fees from patients like me who have debilitating health conditions, Governor Raimondo and lawmakers should tax those who use marijuana for enjoyment. For us patients, marijuana is often the only thing that eases our suffering, and it is already difficult to afford because health insurance does not cover it. Raising revenue from seriously ill patients’ medicine is wrong, but taxing recreational consumers is appropriate and could help alleviate our state’s deficit.”
Jared Moffat, Director of Regulate Rhode Island, issued the following statement:
“We tax alcohol, but not prescription medications. Similarly, it makes little sense to extract revenue from sick people who need marijuana as a medicine while keeping marijuana that is used for fun untaxed and in the illicit market. I suspect most recreational marijuana consumers would be happy to pay taxes if only the state would make it legal for them to do so. In addition to generating more revenue, regulating marijuana like alcohol would erode the illicit marijuana market and create new businesses and jobs all over the state. It’s time to get our head out of the sand and move forward like our neighbors in Massachusetts and Vermont.”
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