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Rhode Island Considering Legal Marijuana

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If passed, legislation would make Rhode Island the 3rd state, after Colorado and Washington, to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana use. (Getty Images)

If passed, legislation would make Rhode Island the 3rd state, after Colorado and Washington, to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana use. (Getty Images)

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A House panel is considering several marijuana bills, including one to legalize the drug and regulate and tax it like alcohol.

The Judiciary Committee was hearing testimony Wednesday evening.

Rep. Edith Ajello’s bill would allow people 21 and older to have up to one ounce of marijuana and grow limited amounts of the plant. It would set up a system to regulate licensed marijuana retailers and cultivation facilities and subject the drug to wholesale and retail taxes.

Ajello says she wants to bring marijuana “out of the back alleys” and allow residents to buy it safely.

Opponents said legalization would send the wrong message to youth. Several law enforcement officials said the medical marijuana program has led to home invasions targeting growers and that the problem could worsen with legalization.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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