R.I. Lawmakers Consider Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Similar To Mass.

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(File image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(File image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Adults caught with an ounce or less of marijuana would face a $150 fine but no criminal penalties under a pot decriminalization bill up for review in the Rhode Island General Assembly.
The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
More than a dozen states now make marijuana possession a civil violation rather than a criminal offense. Supporters say softer penalties for pot possession would allow police and prosecutors to target more serious crime.
Under the bill, it remains a crime to smoke pot in schools, jails and certain other places, or to be under the influence of marijuana while driving.
Lawmakers are also considering a proposal to legalize marijuana and subject it to regulations and taxes.
Votes on the proposals haven’t been scheduled.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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