RI Becomes 15th State to Decriminalize Pot
Possession of under an ounce to become civil violation
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2012 2:01 AM CDT
Updated Jun 14, 2012 6:05 AM CDT
This guy might be a little over the limit.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Good news for Rhode Island tokers: A bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana has been signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, reports the Providence Journal. The law makes possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil violation with a $150 fine, although three violations in 18 months would be a misdemeanor with larger fines and the risk of prison time. Fourteen other states have introduced similar laws.

Half of the fines collected will be spent on drug awareness and treatment programs for young people under the law, which was overwhelmingly approved by the state's General Assembly. The law, which takes effect April 1 next year, replaces one which made marijuana possession punishable with up to a year in jail or a $500 fine. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that the move will save the state up to $11 million a year.

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Showing 3 of 39 comments
Jun 14, 2012 10:34 AM CDT
How can a law stand for seventyfive years that is based on greed, lies and racism. There is a dictatorship running America from within. The politicians are mostly corrupt in America, selling out the people that vote them into office for fast cash and promises. You could smoke a semi truck load of hemp and not get high. You can use hemp to make and produce about 50,000 differant things. Replubicians let talk about free markets interprise, or only when it is filling your pockets.
Jun 14, 2012 9:48 AM CDT
Should have been done nationally 20 years ago.
Jun 14, 2012 8:41 AM CDT
No don't legalize! I love reading the sensational murders stories in Mexico. The acid baths are the best! What wiull I read if they legalize? Boring stuff about Mitt Romney? What?