Some Facts About Marijuana Possession in Rhode Island

28 October 2014
Drug Crime
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The votes were in, and the majority of Rhode Island voters (53%) said that they were in support of changing the state’s law to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana this past June. With legalization bringing in up to $82 million in much needed State revenue, many saw this bill as a “no-brainer”. But the Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act (Senate Bill 2379) still gained no traction with the Senate Committee.

Is The Possession of Marijuana a Drug Crime?

While the possession of marijuana isn’t “legal”, it’s not necessarily a crime that will result in a criminal record. As the law currently stands, individuals carrying marijuana can face the following penalties:

  • Personal Use – less than 1 ounce: Civil offense with no jail time (non-arrestable offense) and a maximum fine of $150
  • Personal Use – between 1 ounce and 1 kilogram: Misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $500
  • Intent to Distribute: This is a felony charge and, depending on the amount being carried, individuals can face anywhere from 10 years (mandatory minimum sentence) to life in jail with a penalty of $100,000 to $500,000

What If I Take Marijuana for Medical Purposes?

The state of Rhode Island has a number of requirements that individuals must fulfil in order to qualify for medical marijuana and be excused of some of the above charges should they be caught with marijuana.

Some of these requirements include:

  • Written certifications
  • Presence of debilitating medical condition(s)

Those who are certified to take marijuana for medical purposes are still held to possession limits, which at this time includes having only 12 marijuana plants in their possession and 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana available at a time for each patient who qualifies.

Being accused of carrying any amount of marijuana above 1 ounce can lead to lengthy trials, expensive penalties, and possible incarceration.

If you or a loved one have been accused of any drug crime, then the help of a criminal attorney who is experienced in drug crimes is paramount. At Martineau Davis & Associates we have spent years advocating for our clients and ensuring that they receive the very best representation, and a fair trial. We welcome your call to discuss your specific case at 401-398-8333.

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