Rhode Island Decriminalization of Marijuana Bill

As reported in the May 29, 2012 edition of the Providence Journal, a bill has been introduced at the Rhode Island General Assembly to decriminalize possession of marijuana in small quantities. The bill was introduced last year and failed.

Pursuant to current Rhode Island General Laws 21-28-4.01(a) it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. Possession of marijuana is defined as misdemeanor and upon conviction may be 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.

The proposed bill would make possession of marijuana a civil violation and the penalty imposed would be a $150.00 fine. Minors who were charged with possession of marijuana would have to complete community service and a drug awareness program. The bill would decriminalize possession of marijuana of one (1) ounce or less.

Possession of larger quantities of marijuana would still be a crime. Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 21-28-4.01.1, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess or deliver the following enumerated quantities of certain controlled substances, one kilogram (1 kg.) to five (5 kgs.) kilograms of a mixture containing a detectable amount of marijuana. If convicted, the penalties include imprisonment for a term up to fifty (50) years and fined not more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).

If you or a family member has been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of heroin or other drug offenses, 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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