Rhode Island has, as of May 25, 2022, legalized adult-use recreational marijuana. The use of cannabis is now legal everywhere cigarettes are permitted. However, note that the new law contains language that allows communities to ban or restrict smoking cannabis in public places. Rhode Islanders may possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Also, any civil violations, misdemeanors, or felony convictions for cannabis possession that is now legal under the law will be expunged from court records. The law calls for retail sales to begin on December 1.
As is the case with other New England states, Rhode Island has its on-water personality, it off-the-water personality, plus a few more for its urban and rural faces. The on-water parts of the state, like the sandy beaches of South County and Newport, and the rocky shoreline of Jamestown, is a huge draw for summer people. In all seasons of the year, visitors enjoy the small cities of Newport – with many original, Colonial-era buildings and street, along with sailing, mansions, and shopping on the wharves – and the capital city of Providence. Providence is getting renowned for its dining scene, juiced up by a bustling Little Italy neighborhood and the presence of a major culinary college. Visiting any of these places is delightfully enhanced, in mind and body, by a preliminary toke or nibble of cannabis. Bring your own rolling papers and bong!
Rhode Island’s beaches are famous, but slightly less-known, perhaps, are the pleasures of exploring Little Rhody’s inland areas, like the historic Blackstone Valley, named for the Blackstone River. Up to World War II, this river was a workhorse of industry driven by water power. In fact, the first water-powered textile plant in the nation was created in Pawtucket when Samuel Slater built the Slater Mill (still standing, and hosting tours) with plans he had stolen from England. Now the river valley is a place for hiking, biking, paddling, and tasting ethnic cuisine, from French-Canadian, a gift of the region’s earlier mill workers, to the more-recent Asian and Hispanic. Feeling the munchies from that last round of marijuana? Providence and the small towns of the Blackstone Valley offer adventurous dining.
Culturally, Providence is a busy place. Major live theaters include Providence Performing Arts Center, Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Trinity Repertory Company, The Gamm Theater (in nearby Warwick), and many other small places. The big three theaters, downtown, host major productions of Broadway-caliber shows. Visit any of these theaters’ productions with a brain enhanced by THC, and you may enjoy an extra-profound experience. Art museums, including one associated with Rhode Island School of Design, are found in Providence and Newport. Historic home museums, many telling the stories of the state’s founding by Roger Williams in 1636, are out in the pretty countryside, calling you to a delightful drive.
As a shoreline state, Rhode Island clearly knows how to cook and serve seafood (in fact, the state’s official appetizer is calamari). In Newport, you can dine in any of the dozens of casual or more-formal restaurants on the city’s restored wharves, facing sunset and the sails in motion in Newport harbor. Providence has a positively authentic Little Italy neighborhood called Federal Hill. In fact, Providence is home to Johnson & Wales University, a national culinary school. Many Providence restaurateurs stepped right out of that college and into innovative kitchens in the city. Be sure to bring your weed-induced appetite; you won’t be disappointed.