Rod Driver

Article from the Westerly Sun, June 1, 1988

Senate to consider Driver rolling papers legislation

RICHMOND - The state Senate this week will vote on a tax for cigarette rolling proposed by Rep. Rodney Driver.

The measure, which has already been approved by the House of Representatives, would add a burden to both consumers and distributors of the product, and is designed to both raise revenue for drug education and discourage the use of the product.

Police in several Rhode Island communities have asked store owners to voluntarily stop selling the item because the papers are believed to be used most often for rolling marijuana cigarettes.

"This bill has an interesting history," Driver said in a press release. "It came about solely from the suggestion of a former URI student. Joseph Della Selva, presently a graduate student at Rutgers University, worked at a convenience store in Rhode Island during his winter vacation. He was concerned that large numbers of cigarette rolling papers were sold during his shifts and that the great majority of them were being used for marijuana," he said.

The Senate will vote on the measure as part of the budget resolution before it adjourns this week.

The Senate could remove the bill from the resolution, but Driver said this morning he expects the measure to pass.