Rhode Island Commission Recommends Decriminalizing Small Amounts of Marijuana

As a followup to our previous post on Rhode Island’s attempts to legalize and tax marijuana, the Providence Journal is reporting on the legislative commission’s decision to recommended the decriminalization of an ounce or less of marijuana.

Made up of passionate advocates on both sides of the marijuana debate, the panel, chaired by state Sen. Joshua Miller, D-Cranston, voted Tuesday to approve the contents of a 24-page final report that concludes that “marijuana law reform” would save Rhode Island a substantial amount of money by avoiding “costly arrests [and] incarcerations due to simple possession of marijuana.”

The report suggests that Rhode Island take its lead from Massachusetts, where anyone 18 or older who is caught with an ounce or less of marijuana is required to pay a $100 civil fine “that goes directly to the municipality in which the penalty was issued.”

You can read the final report here.

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