Rep. Watson back in court on Conn. drug charge

A Rhode Island state lawmaker who has pleaded not guilty to drug possession and driving under the influence in Connecticut is due back in court.

Rep. Robert Watson, an East Greenwich Republican, will appear Thursday in New Haven Superior Court. His lawyer, Jack O’Donnell, said he hopes a plea agreement can be reached.

Watson lost his job as Rhode Island’s House minority leader after his arrest in April in East Haven.

Police say the 50-year-old Watson had marijuana and cocaine in his system when he was pulled over at a drunken driving checkpoint.

A laboratory test showed Watson’s blood-alcohol level was 0.07, below the state’s 0.08 limit.

Watson said he had the marijuana to treat pain from pancreatitis, but didn’t smoke that day. He denied being drunk and using cocaine.