The Cannabist .

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“It is an important conversation to have,” Ruggerio said in a statement. “I have listened to the debate regarding legalization of marijuana over the years and watched the experience in states such as Colorado,” which legalized the commercial sale of the drug.

The bill’s main sponsor in the Senate, Democratic Sen. Joshua Miller of Cranston, had introduced his long-shot legislation for several years without success but said there is more momentum this year. Other lawmakers might take the legislation more seriously when there’s support from people in leadership positions, Miller said.

“It’s not outlier legislation,” he said Friday.

Miller said he also thinks the push for similar legislation in other New England states will help. He points to Vermont, where lawmakers are advancing a bill, and Massachusetts, which might ask voters in the November election.

Ruggerio did not co-sponsor the bill last year. It stalled in the judiciary committee.

“I believe that removing marijuana from the black market may make our communities safer,” Ruggerio said. He said Miller’s bill includes important safeguards and will bring money to the state.

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