Rhode Island legal pot proponents kick off fight

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts is causing some Rhode Island lawmakers to say it’s time to race ahead of their neighbor.

Rhode Island’s legal pot proponents on Wednesday kicked off their fight to pass state legislation that could take effect before marijuana shops open across the border.

The same Democratic lawmakers who sponsored pot legalization bills in previous legislative sessions, Providence Rep. Scott Slater and Cranston Sen. Josh Miller, are drafting new bills and plan to introduce them soon.

Proponents cite polls showing support for legalization and what will soon be the ease of buying the drug in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts voters approved a November ballot initiative to legalize pot for adults, but a new law delays the opening of retail marijuana stores until mid-2018.

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