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Marijuana Possession Now Decriminalized in Rhode Island

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #778)
Drug War Issues

Rhode Island became the 14th state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana Monday as a law passed last year went into effect. As of now, it is no longer a criminal offense to possess up to an ounce of pot.

People caught with small amounts now face only a civil citation similar to a traffic ticket and a fine of up to $150. But get caught three times within 18 months and you will be facing a misdemeanor.

People under the age of 18 who are caught will have their parents notified. They could also be required to attend alcohol and drug education courses and perform community service.

Decriminalization legislation was introduced by state Rep. John Edwards in January 2011. It was approved by the legislature the following year and signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee last June. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) helped shepherd the bill through the legislative process.

"We applaud the legislature and Governor Chafee for answering Rhode Islanders' calls for a more sensible marijuana policy," said Robert Capecchi, MPP deputy director of state polices. "Nobody should be subject to life-altering criminal penalties simply for using a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol."

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


kickback (not verified)

Decriminalization has 1976 written all over it . Let`s fast forward , 37 years to 2013 . What we need now is basic legalization of Cannabis . You know , so that people can grow their own at home . Let the tourists and passers-thru buy the retail stuff . These politicians seem to be on a 50 year plan w/ regards to Cannabis legalization . 50 years is now compressed into 5 years .  Not 1973 , it is 2013 . ..   . . .  .

Tue, 04/02/2013 - 3:39am Permalink
Pete BulknerI (not verified)

Stupid and unamerican, stupid fascist pot smoking junkies destroying america. This is not right. Captial punishment for any use or positive drug screen is the only logical and successful deterant
Tue, 04/02/2013 - 11:33am Permalink
drmaddogs (not verified)

In reply to by Pete BulknerI (not verified)

Stupid is as stupid does... Mr. Stupid? Was that the solution for Alcohol... which kills a quarter million a year? Or 24,000 by cigarettes? How about aspirin, with 200 deaths? Mj does not kill and has been shown to have been used by most of the people that contribute the most to every subject and sector in business and academia in America. 

The only logic in your post is your moniker.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 12:03pm Permalink

What kind of idiot who holds such extreme hatred for people who smoke pot would bother visiting a site whose sole purpose is reform of a policy that results in illicit drugs in every school, massive capital flight in the form of US currency funneled to organized criminals, widespread corruption of law enforcement and government officials among key US allies (Afghanistan & Pakistan), mushrooming prison population (and the associated budgets) not to mention increased property crimes. Maybe he was robbed by a junkie and upset that the cops diddn't bother to take any prints or bother to investigate the crime at all. He can thank the drug war for that.

I doubt this fool has spent five minutes contemplating the cost to the legal system to implement his proposed policy of executing (fascist) drug users. Indeed mr. bulknerl sounds like the fascist. There is no doubt-based on my reading his occasional rant-that he suffers from anger issues and might find great benefit in chilling out with a doobie. If he has any trouble scoring some pot might I suggest he go through a connection with a local high school or middle school student since drugs are widely available in schools throughout the US-Oh! and he can thank the drug war for that one too!

Wed, 04/03/2013 - 8:19pm Permalink
FlyingTooLow (not verified)

We all know that someday, soon, this prohibition will end.
I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense.
The memorable day that I met with the parole panel, I asked, "When pot becomes legal, what will my 5 years spent in prison have meant?"
Their response, "That is a very philosophical question. We don't deal with philosophy in this office."
Case closed...go back to your cell.
When the 5 years were gone, I walked out and never looked back. But, I know to this day, there are thousands of Americans still rotting in jail over a plant.
I wrote about the escapades that led to my imprisonment:
Shoulda Robbed a Bank

I would be honored by your review.


Thu, 04/04/2013 - 11:41am Permalink

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