Rhode Island – the smallest state in America and home to the TV show Family Guy. If you’re a fan of Family Guy, you might remember the episode when Stewie and Brian tried to get marijuana legalized. That episode came out over 10 years ago now. In that time, not a great deal has changed. Currently only medical marijuana is legal in Rhode Island. The states medical marijuana program puts most other states to shame however, and their recreational laws are on the more lenient side.
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Rhode Island Marijuana Laws
Recreational use of marijuana in Rhode Island is still not legal, unlike neighboring Massachusetts. If caught with less than an ounce however, it will be classed as a civil violation incurring a maximum fine of $150. Over an ounce, but less than 1 kg and it’s a misdemeanor, and potentially 1-year imprisonment and a $500 fine.
Anything more than a kilogram (roughly 35 ounces) and it will likely be viewed as intention to distribute. This will carry a minimum sentence of 25 years, and could also land you with a $500,000 fine. If within 300 yards of a school the penalties can double.
Selling or growing less than a kilogram could lead to 30 years in jail and a $100,000 fine. From there the penalties just keep increasing.
Medical Marijuana In Rhode Island
So you know how we said before that Rhode Island’s medical marijuana laws put most other states to shame? That’s because an individual can grow up to 12 plants, and also have 12 seedlings too.
What’s more, two or more medical marijuana cardholders can combine their growing efforts. If they do so in an indoor facility that is deemed non-residential, they can have up to 10 ounces of usable marijuana, 48 seedlings and 48 mature plants. No wonder it’s called the plantation state (not very commonly, but still).
The possession limit is 2.5 ounces per person, which doesn’t make a lot of sense given the above figures. I would assume (but do your own research) that it means 2.5 ounces of bud, while having up to 10 ounces of flower still on the plants. But as for the 48 plants, I have no idea where or how that number came about. Let’s assume the classic “a gram of weed per watt of lighting” for growing indoors. A 400 watt bulb should therefore produce you around 400 grams, assuming you’re a reasonably skilled grower. That’s 14 ounces right there, from one plant.
We’ve contacted NORML for more information about this, however at the time of writing have not heard back.
Another Recreational Marijuana Hopeful
Rhode Island is one of six states that make up the New England region. Currently Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire don’t have legal recreational marijuana. There is however movement on the issue in all three states.
There is currently draft legislation that aims to legalize adult use, which was introduced in January 2020. If passed, this bill would allow adults 21 and over to use marijuana in private spaces. The purchase limit would be set at an ounce per transaction, however up to 5 ounces could be stored at home. Growing at home would remain illegal however.
Like everywhere, using marijuana in public would also remain illegal. This would include vaporizing too. The potency limit would be set at 50% THC, and a maximum of 5 mg of THC per serving of edibles.
The most interesting part of the bill is that the state would control and own the retail stores. They would license out the growing and processing to contractors, but would essentially be taking the profits. I guess they’re realizing how lucrative it can be?
Is Marijuana Legal In Maine?
A state-run dispensary might make you think that prices will be set far higher than normal. They definitely could be, but Massachusetts is a short drive away no matter where you are in the state. Setting prices too high would just lead to a loss in revenue. Hopefully all this means that marijuana will be legal in Rhode Island soon.