What to Know about Marijuana in Rhode Island

Posted by April Picozzi | Jun 02, 2020 | 0 Comments

Throughout the past few years, the United States has undergone a huge transition with regard to the acceptance of marijuana. Whereas the drug was once prohibited in its entirety, its usage has become more and more accepted, especially in terms of its usage in medicinal treatment.

Although over half of the states in the country have legalized marijuana for medical purposes—and even for recreation—Rhode Island is not one of these states. This means that people still find themselves facing criminal charges for possession of any more than a nominal amount of the true. If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, or any other drug offense, in Rhode Island, the importance of retaining a seasoned criminal defense attorney can't be understated. 

Marijuana Possession Laws in Rhode Island

In 2013, marijuana laws changed dramatically in Rhode Island, as the state decriminalized the possession of small amounts of the drug.

Whereas possessing any amount of the drug used to be a criminal offense, a person found in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana will only face a civil offense. This will require you to pay a fine and turn over any marijuana that you have in your possession. 

Penalties become more severe as the amount of marijuana increases. A person charged with possession of over one ounce of marijuana will face a misdemeanor charge with the potential for a $500 fine and up to one year in jail. Upon conviction of this charge, a person can also be required to participate in community service and undergo a drug counseling course.  

Possession of a kilogram or more of marijuana is considered a felony charge. These charges come with significantly increased penalties, and a person convicted of the charge can face decades in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. 

Medical Marijuana as a Defense to a Possession Charge in Rhode Island 

Rhode Island is one of many states in the country that permits the usage of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions. A person can be approved for medical marijuana to treat a chronic or debilitating condition that produces chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, and seizures. Diseases which qualify for medical marijuana as treatment include: 

  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Glaucoma

Medical marijuana can be a defense to a charge of possession of marijuana in Rhode Island. These laws aren't self-explanatory, however; medical marijuana laws can become very cloudy and complicated, and asserting medical marijuana as a defense to a possession charge should only be handled by a seasoned criminal defense attorney. 

Charged with Possession of Marijuana in Rhode Island? We Can Help

If you are facing a charge of possession of marijuana in Rhode Island, the best choice that you can make is to discuss your options with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Inman & Tourgee, our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients face their charge head-on and obtain a positive outcome. To discuss your marijuana possession charge with a member of the Inman & Tourgee legal team, fill out an online contact form or call (401) 823-9200 today. 

About the Author

April Picozzi

PUBLIC ADJUSTER / OPERATIONS & FINANCE MANAGER April M. Picozzi joined the firm in 2013 as a licensed Independent Adjuster and legal assistant to Mark D. Tourgee, Esq. She handles all aspects of personal injury claims including client intake, maintaining client files, negotiating settlements and assi...


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