Jun 132012
 June 13, 2012

rhode island marijuanaRhode Island cannabis advocates have reason to cheer today as Governor Lincoln Chafee signed a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession into law.

The law will change the current law and possession of up to an ounce a civil violation with a $150 fine. The new law also dictates that three such violations within an 18 month period would be a misdemeanor with larger fines and and possible prison. The law will take effect April, 1st 2013.

Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimated that this proposal will save the state of Rhode Island up to $11 million dollars annually. In addition, allowing law enforcement to issue a simple citation as opposed to making an arrest for marijuana possession will free up law enforcement time to prevent, investigate, and solve crimes of violence and against property. Finally, by ending the draconian practice of criminalizing simple possession, many Ocean Staters will be spared from being labeled criminals for non-violent behavior — a label that carries a host of terrible collateral consequences.

Earlier this month, the Rhode Island General Assembly overwhelming approved bills that would — for most offenses — remove the threat of jail time for the simple possession of marijuana. The companion bills — S2253/H7092 — would replace the current criminal charge for simple possession — up to a year in jail and/or up to a $500 fine — with a $150 civil offense.

Individuals under the age of 18 would be subject to the same civil violation and would also be required to attend a drug education course as well as perform community service. A third marijuana possession offense within 18 months could result in a misdemeanor conviction punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.


About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
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  • http://twitter.com/TheZenPirate Roger D. Brandt Jr.

    he must watch family guy.  way to go rhode island! one step closer to just taxing it and letting cops get back to busting criminals.

  • Paulpot

    Awesome news. There has been some really positive wins this year and this is another important step. My deepest thanks to all activists and politicians who worked to make this possible.Â
    Still heaps to do but an important win like this helps make every future battle all the more winnable.Â
    Chip by chip we’ll take down this wall.Â
    Enroll to vote for any ballot initiative coming. There could be half dozen this year offering medical marijuana, decriminalization, or even full legalization (Colorado) which judging by the latest poll (61% support) looks like it will actually win.Â
    America could be a very different country by the end of the year.Â
    War is Over! 2012!Â

    • Ebarnard311

      How many states have decriminalized in the past year?

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