If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.
Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’d be happy to take Prince Harry’s spot in the royal family. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee launched his Libertarian bid for the presidency Wednesday, calling for the country to have an “active, opened-minded discussion” about criminal justice reform that includes the decriminalization of drugs.
If he wants to learn more about how to get it done, he might want to take a trip to his home state this afternoon.
That’s because a group of lawmakers and advocates are hosting a conversation at the State House with Dr. João Goulão, who is known as Portugal’s drug czar. Goulão helped craft his country’s plan to decriminalize all drugs and administer administrative penalties in most possession cases.
The Portuguese policy has been widely hailed as a success, helping to curb drug use and overdoses in that country.
Chafee stopped short of saying whether he was referring to all substances, telling Marijuana Moment that “it starts with a broad conversation and getting everybody involved - law enforcement, health officials, and that’s the process.”
“And there are other models around the world, whether it’s Portugal or Uruguay or Holland, and we can learn from them,” Chafee said.
Today’s discussion at the State House library is hosted by Representative Scott Slater, the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) on Opioids and Overdose, the Substance Use Policy, Education, & Recovery Political Action Committee, and the Family Task Force.
Governor Gina Raimondo is widely expected to include in her budget next week a proposal to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but House and Senate leaders have said they will not support it.
NEED TO KNOW
Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you've got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
- Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang continues to raise to millions of dollars for his longshot bid at the White House, so Ed Fitzpatrick takes a look at how Yang’s days at Brown University shaped his life.
- It appears as though President Trump has avoided further escalating the conflict with Iran, but my colleagues Laura Krantz and Jazmine Ulloa have a smart story about how the situation remains far more complex than Trump’s rhetoric would suggest.
- Be more like Rhode Island I: The Globe’s editorial board calls for Massachusetts to legalize sports betting.
- Be more like Rhode Island II: Jon Chesto reports several major Massachusetts employers are pushing lawmakers for a “single-sales factor” tax benefit, similar to our state.
- Dan Kittredge has an excellent story on John Howell’s 50 years of running the Warwick Beacon.
WHAT'S ON TAP TODAY
Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
- Rhode Map Live: House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio will be interviewed on Jan. 15 by yours truly about their priorities for 2020. The event will take place at District Hall in Providence. Tickets are free, but you have to RSVP here.
- The Providence City Council Special Committee on Public Safety is holding a meeting on nightlife safety tonight at City Hall.
- The Rhode Island Online Data Transparency and Privacy Protection Commission meets this afternoon at the State House to discuss potential legislation for this year.
- This sounds fun: The Steel Yard is hosting a meet and greet with community members and artists tonight.
- Enjoying Rhode Map? Do us a favor and encourage your friends to sign up here.
Please tell your friends about Rhode Map! They can sign up here. The Globe has other e-mail newsletters on topics ranging from breaking news alerts to sports, politics, business, and entertainment -- check them out.