Governor Signs Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

As reported by Mike McKinney in the June 13, 2012 edition of the Providence Journal, Governor Chafee has signed a new law which decriminalizes marijuana possession. The new bill will go into effect in April of 2013. The new law will make possession of marijuana, one (1) ounce or less, a civil violation. It will now be punishable by a $150.00 fine. Juvenile offenders will be required to pay the fine, perform community service and complete a drug awareness program. Possession of marijuana will be charged as a misdemeanor if it is the person's third violation within eighteen (18) months.

The new law replaces the old law which states, it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. Possession of marijuana, under one (1) ounce, is punishable by imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.

Possession of larger amounts of marijuana have not been decriminalized. Possession of one (1) to five (5) kilograms of marijuana is punishable by imprisonment for a term up to fifty (50) years and fined not more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). Possession of more than five kilograms of a mixture containing a detectable amount of marijuana is punishable by imprisonment for a term up to life and fined not more than one million dollars ($1,000,000).

If you or a family member has been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine or other drug charges, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

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