Little Rhody Could Be More MJ Friendly
While Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the country, it is more progressive than some of the bigger states. Being the third state to legalize medical marijuana, way back in 2006, individuals with debilitating health issues have been able reap the widely known benefits of marijuana for almost a decade.
In March of 2015, lawmakers in Rhode Island discussed legalizing recreational marijuana. While nothing has been passed, maybe the state, whose motto is “Hope”, will decide to legalize it soon.
What’s Legal in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island’s Medical Marijuana Act allows individuals with qualifying illnesses to use a limited amount of marijuana. Additionally, each individual can have up to 2 caregivers. These caregivers have the legal ability to pick up and distribute medical marijuana to their patients (each caregiver may have up to 5 patients).
Before trying to obtain marijuana for medical purposes, an individual must always talk with his or her physician and file the proper paperwork. While marijuana has been proven to offer a plethora of medicinal benefits, you will want to make sure it’s a “right fit” for you.
Qualifying medical conditions include, but may not be limited to Cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, chronic pain, seizures, MS, Crohn’s, or Alzheimer’s. As with all medical conditions, where treatment may include medication that may impair your ability to drive, you avoid driving while under the influence of marijuana. Even if you are a card carrying member, you could be pulled over and charged with drugged driving.
Fines & Jail Time
Although Rhode Island is slow to get on board with recreational use, punishments for personal possession or consumption has been decriminalized a bit. First time offenders, may also be eligible for a conditional release or alternative sentencing, such as probation. In many of these cases, an individual’s criminal record will not reflect the charge once probation is successfully completed.
If you are caught possessing less than 1 oz. of marijuana you could be fined $150 and it’s treated like a traffic violation, particularly if you are a first time offender. 1 oz to 1 kg can increase your fine to $500 and a possible sentencing of one year behind bars.
An intention to distribute, sell, or cultivate will get you in a great deal of trouble. If you intend to distribute 1- 5kg, you’re fines could equal up to half a million dollars and jail time could be a MMS (Mandatory Minimum Sentence) of 10 up to 50 years. More than 5 kg is MMS of 25 years to life. Any intent to sell or cultivate has similar consequences. Basically, it’s safe to say that Rhode Island is “ok” with a little, but don’t even try to get by with the big stuff.
Rhode Island is a tough little state. While they show a little compassion and understanding for those who suffer, they have no tolerance for people who want to make marijuana “criminal”. When Rhode Island makes recreational marijuana legal, we think it’s only a matter of time, they will make their laws known and be a force to reckon with. Don’t mess with “Little Rhody”.