On June 13th, the Rhode Island became the latest state to decriminalize possession of marijuana for the first offense. If you are walking around in Rhode Island with a small amount of weed you will no longer face jail time if you are caught. When I say small, I mean an ounce or less.
The previous laws would give you a criminal misdemeanor charge that carries a sentence of up to a year in jail and/or a $500 fine.
Here is how the new law changes the penalty for possession of marijuana • Individuals over the age of 18: Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for individuals 18 and older will be penalized with a $150 civil offense and forfeiture of the marijuana for the first and second offenses within 18 months. • Individuals under the age of 18: Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by individuals under 18 will subject these minors to the same civil violation as adults for a first or second offense within 18 months. The minor offender will also be required to attend a drug education course as well as perform community service. • Failure to provide identification or to honestly give name: Law enforcement may arrest an individual found in possession of up to an ounce of marijuana if he or she fails to produce picture identification when requested or he or she fails to honestly provide his or her name. • Failure to pay fines: The civil fine will double to $300 if not paid within 30 days of issuance and double again to $600 if it has not been paid within 90 days. • Civil violations for marijuana possession will not be grounds for revocation of parole or probation. • Subsequent offenses: For all individuals found in possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, a third 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.
Everyday more and more states seem to be coming out with information, votes, and initiatives to push for either legalization, decriminalization or medical marijuana. We need to support these states and the politicians who are not afraid to tell the truth about marijuana.
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