Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee joins 14 other states by signing into law a bill that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana. The law, which becomes effective on April 1, 2013, states that possession of an ounce or less will become nothing more than a civil violation with a $150 fine. It does state that 3 such violations within a period of 18 months would be a misdemeanor.
This will replace the current law which made possession of small amounts of marijuana an immediate misdemeanor facing possible jail time and fines up to $500.
With the Governor's signature now dry on the dotted line, Rhode Island becomes the 15th state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.