State lawmakers approve bill to decriminalize marijuana
PROVIDENCE, RI – A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana is one step closer to becoming law in Rhode Island today. The General Assembly voted Tuesday to approve the measure, which would make having an ounce or less of marijuana a civil offense, instead of a criminal one. Under the bill, adults caught with small amounts of pot would face a $150 civil fine. Possession is a misdemeanor under current law, carrying possible jail time and fines of up to $500 dollars.
The bill now heads to Governor Lincoln Chafee's desk. Chafee has not said whether he will sign it. If he does, Rhode Island will become the 15th state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
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