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Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect Monday In Rhode Island


rhode island marijuanaBy Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

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.

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Johnny Green


  1. This leaves the suppliers cash flow intact. Now they have more custormers, but with the same penalties for sales, the price will remain very high. It also means the cops will still waste tax payer dollars chasing the suppliers. So law enforcement and prison budgets are protected. The whole thing is designed to protect the people already on the take, those getting protection and the judges who get the money to let the dealers go back to work. Nice.

  2. Slow and steady get’s the prize… but I’m loving how the momentum has kicked into ‘high’ gear… Look out US of A naysayers … We, THE PEOPLE, are going to win this movement ~against all odds! We’re coming out of the woodwork like water flows from the mountains. Prepare yourselves… It’s about a new Revolution!

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