Rhode Island has become the 15th state in the country to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana!

August 1, 2012 - 12:58pm

Decriminalizing the Possession of Marijuana

Rhode Island has become the 15th state in the country to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.  The legislation was sponsored by Representative Edwards of Tiverton and Senator Josh Miller of Cranston, and Governor Chaffee signed the law on June 13.  

Rhode Island  decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The legislation was sponsored by Representative Edwards of Tiverton and Senator Josh Miller of Cranston, and Governor Chaffee signed the law on June 13. Starting April 1, 2013, the possession of one ounce of marijuana or less will be a civil offense, like a traffic ticket. Instead of being charged with a crime, it will result in a ticket of $150. Juveniles will also be required to go to drug awareness counseling. A third within 18 months will result in a misdemeanor charge.

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Learn More:

The Criminal Justice Costs of Marijuana Prohibition in RI

Released: March 2010 (pdf)

Rhode Island currently criminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.  This policy has widespread and significant fiscal and human costs, results in unfair and racially disproportionate punishment, and has no demonstrated public safety benefits.  

In 2009, there were 1,771 arrests for first-time marijuana possession in Rhode Island.  In 2008, there were 584 incidents of incarceration for marijuana possession.1   Ending prohibition and eliminating these arrests would save the state approximately $12.7 million in criminal justice costs.
 

The Cost of Marijuana Prohibition in Rhode Island- Powerpoint

Released: January 2010 (pdf)

Status of Relevant Legislation:RI Senate Commission on Marijuana Prohibition Currently Investigating Issue

Recommending decriminalization of possession of one ounce or less of marijuana

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  • http://opendoorsri.org/themes/garland/images/menu-leaf.gif); background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; background-position: 1px 0.35em; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; ">Arrest and Incarceration
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