Updated: Friday, 11 Feb 2011, 2:13 PM EST
Published : Friday, 11 Feb 2011, 2:13 PM EST
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - New legislation proposed would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Sen. Joshua Miller introduced the bill after studying the issue for four months last year. Under the new bill, possession of one ounce of less of marijuana by first time offenders would be a civil offense and could face a $150 fine.
Second time offenders would face a $300 fine and could face criminal prosecution. After that offenders would be charged with a misdemeanor.
The legislation aims to save money on prosecuting and jailing people for minor marijuana possession charges.
“There’s a big difference between possessing a small amount of marijuana and having something highly dangerous and addictive. The state is wasting money prosecuting and incarcerating people by treating marijuana possession as a more serious crime. It’s not a smart use of resources,” said Sen. Miller.