|An 18-year-old student is arrested for marijuana. Scenes like this could become a part of the past in Rhode Island.|
A bill to decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana was introduced in the Rhode Island House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Under the legislation, up to an ounce of pot would be subject only to a $150 civil penalty under state law.
H 7317, a bipartisan bill, is co-sponsored by 35 House members and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The Rhode Island State Senate is likely to introduce their version of the bill later this week.
If the bill becomes law, Rhode Island would join their neighboring state, Massachusetts, and become the 14th state to decriminalize marijuana. In 2008, Massachusetts voters passed a similar decrim law overwhelmingly, with 65 percent of the vote.