Add Rhode Island to the list of states looking seriously at ending marijuana prohibition, and the damage its done to America’s civil liberties:

…Rhode Island House and Senate committees have held hearings on bills that would legalize marijuana for adult use despite ongoing federal cannabis prohibition.

Sen. Joshua Miller (D) introduced Senate Bill 2430 (S2430) on March 1. Rep. Scott Slater (D) introduced the companion, House Bill 7593 (H7593), on the same day. The legislation would legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older. Possession of up to 2 ounces would be decriminalized for people over 18. The bills would also create a regulatory structure for the cultivation and sale of marijuana. Home cultivation of up to six plants (three mature) would be allowed under the law.

On March 15, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on S2430. The committee did not vote on the bill, holding it “for further study.” This is a typical move in Rhode Island, giving committee members more time to consider the legislation.

On March 22, the House Finance Committee held a hearing on H7593, also without a vote.

There are also provisions to legalize marijuana in Gov. Dan McKee’s budget proposal.

While there’s still a long way to go, and success is far from guaranteed, that Rhode Island lawmakers are even taking up the idea, rather than summarily dismissing it, is a sign of progress. And to be fair, Rhode Island’s slow walk is practically a sprint compared to the federal government, which has badly bungled the issue and as a result, remains fully committed to waging its failed drug war.

Drug peace will come from states taking action – otherwise known as federalism.