Marijuana Arrest Following Fire

As reported by Richard C. Dujardin in the September 4, 2013 edition of the Providence Journal, an East Providence woman was arrested for marijuana following a fire at her home. The East Providence Fire Department responded to a fire at an apartment building. While extinguishing the fire, the firemen discovered four (4) lbs of marijuana and lights used to grow the marijuana. It is unclear what the woman was charged with, but it was likely possession of marijuana and/or possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

Possession of small amount of marijuana has been decriminalized since April 1, 2013. Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law 21-28-4.01(c)(2)(iii), notwithstanding any public, special or general law to the contrary, the possession of one ounce (1 oz.) or less of marijuana by a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and who is not exempted from penalties pursuant to chapter 21-28.6 shall constitute a civil offense, rendering the offender liable to a civil penalty in the amount of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) and forfeiture of the marijuana, but not to any other form of criminal or civil punishment or disqualification. Notwithstanding any public, special or general law to the contrary, this civil penalty of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) and forfeiture of the marijuana shall apply if the offense is the first (1st) or second (2nd) violation within the previous eighteen (18) months.

However, it is still illegal to possess large amount of marijuana. The statue states possession of more than one ounce (1 oz.) of a controlled substance classified in schedule I as marijuana is guilty of a misdemeanor except for those persons subject to subdivision 21-28-4.01(a)(1) 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.

Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 21-28-4.01.1, except as authorized by this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, or possess with intent to manufacture, or sell, a controlled substance classified in schedules I or II (excluding marijuana) or to possess or deliver the following enumerated quantities of certain controlled substances:

(5) One kilogram (1 kg.) to five (5 kgs.) kilograms of a mixture containing a detectable amount of marijuana.

Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a crime, and upon conviction, may be imprisoned 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 cocaine 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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