Rhode Island: Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect Monday

NORML – by Paul Armentano

Legislation signed into law last year decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses takes effect on Monday, April 1.

Presently, possessing cannabis in the Ocean State is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine. Starting Monday, the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an individual 18 years or older is a non-arrestable civil offense, punishable by a maximum fine of $150 but no jail time, and no criminal record.   

Fifteen states have enacted similar decriminalization laws. Three states — Alaska, Colorado, and Washington — impose no criminal or civil penalty for the private possession of small amounts of marijuana. (Colorado had previously decriminalized cannabis possession decades earlier, while Alaska’s legal protections were imposed by the state Supreme Court.)

Similar decriminalization legislation is pending this year in nearly a dozen additional states, including Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Texas, and Vermont.

Lawmakers in several other states, including MaineOregon, and Pennsylvania, are considering separate legislation to legalize the adult consumption of cannabis and regulate its retail production and sale.


3 thoughts on “Rhode Island: Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect Monday

  1. Well, I guess that could be a step in the right direction. Now, I guess that they would have to consider nation wide legalization. I would hope so anyway. 🙂

  2. Hey #1, I suscribe to the Bill Hicks way of thinking about marijuana. “I believe marijuana should not only be legalized, it should be mandatory”.

    1. It’s been semi legal here for a few years. I have a number of friends with ‘prescriptions’.

      But I had connections (back when) that I got better prices from than what the pharmacies charge, for the same quality bud.

      What a racket.

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