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NEW: Marijuana Decriminalization Bill before Senate Committee Today

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

 

A bill that that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana will come before the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Josh Miller, D-Cranston, Warwick, would make possession of an ounce or less of pot a civil offense, with a $150 fine. Possession of the same amount by someone under the age of 18 would also be a civil offense, with a fine of $150, plus community service and enrollment in a drug awareness program.

So far, 13 states, including Massachusetts have passed marijuana decriminalization bills.

Existing Rhode Island state law makes possession of less than a kilogram of marijuana a misdemeanor, with a possible sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $200 to $500. (Click here to read a summary of all the legal penalties.)

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing is at approximately 4:30 p.m. today in Room 313 at the Statehouse.

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